N.Korea views 2002 pact with Japan as key

April 14, 2006 at 7:28 AM

PYONGYANG, North Korea, April 14 (UPI) -- North Korea said Friday that the country's problems with Japan, including abduction issues, should be solved using a 2002 pact signed by their two leaders.

In a meeting with Kyodo News and its member news organizations, Supreme People's Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam said North Korea continues to view the 2002 Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration as a key guideline, the news agency reported.

The No. 2 leader's meeting with the news delegation in Pyongyang was the first interview with the Japanese media since assuming his current post in 1998.

"We believe the Pyongyang declaration is a milepost for the normalization of bilateral relations," Kim said.

"If the Japanese authorities move toward the implementation of the Pyongyang Declaration, there will be no problems that are impossible to solve," Kim added.

The 2002 declaration, signed by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, commits the two countries to work toward the normalization of diplomatic relations by solving outstanding issues between them.

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