S.Korea to raise abduction issue

April 17, 2006 at 7:56 AM

SEOUL, April 17 (UPI) -- South Korea's Unification Minister said Monday he plans to raise the abduction issue during ministerial talks with North Korea later this week.

"I will discuss with the North the basic responsibilities towards separated families, abductees and war prisoners," Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok said during a parliamentary session, the Korea Herald reports.

South Korea and North Korea are set to meet for four days of ministerial-level talks from beginning Friday in Pyongyang.

South Korea says 485 South Koreans have been kidnapped to the North.

Last Tuesday, Japan announced the result of a DNA test showing South Korean abductee Kim Yong Nam was the husband of Japanese abductee Megumi Yokota, who was kidnapped in 1977 at age 13.

The disclosure has triggered a debate regarding North Korea's past record on abductions and its constant denial of any wrongdoing.

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