North Korea, Japan to hold government level talks in SwedenUpdated: 2014-05-26 18:02:02 KST
Senior officials from North Korea and Japan will sit down for government-level talks on this Monday in Stockholm, following up on the two countries' first talks in more than a year in March.
The North Korean delegation will be led by Song Il-ho, its ambassador for handling relations with Japan, while Junichi Ilhara, chief of the Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau at Japan's foreign ministry, will lead the Japanese delegation.
A range of issues are expected to be discussed during the three-day meeting, but the Japanese abductee issue will likely top the agenda.
Tokyo is again expected to call for a re-investigation into the whereabouts of Japanese nationals, who were allegedly abducted by Pyongyang in the 1970s and '80s.
This time, it reportedly plans to get a promise from the North in the form of a document.
"The Abe administration has a strong determination to solve the abductee issue no matter what, and we will consider all methods."
North Korea will likely demand Japan to ease sanctions in return.
"We plan to negotiate on issues regarding how to implement the North Korea-Japan Pyongyang Declaration, and also any issues that could follow after the implementation."
Attention is also on whether the North Korean delegation will include an official from its state security agency.
The agency reportedly played a big role during the visit of then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Pyongyang in 2002.
Likewise, Japan is also expected to slot in a cabinet official that handles North Korean affairs.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.