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Abduction Minister Kato stresses trilateral cooperation for resolution of abduction issue

TV-Asahi reported at noon that Minister in charge of the Abduction Issue Kato delivered a speech in Washington on Monday, during which he stressed that Japan, the U.S., and South Korea will work closely on human rights issues, including the abductions. He reportedly said that the GOJ will not provide humanitarian assistance or lift the economic sanctions unless North Korea takes concrete actions toward resolving outstanding issues, including the abductions. Kato met with Under Secretary of State Shannon prior to his speech and the two officials reaffirmed the need to increase pressure against North Korea. NHK carried a similar report this morning. According to Asahi, Koichiro Iizuka, whose mother was abducted by North Korea, also called for the early resolution of the abduction issue by saying that people should be interested not only in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs but also human lives.

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