N. Korea says Japan not qualified to take part in 6-way talks

April 15, 2007 8:11pm CST
North Korea's official media said Monday that Japan is not qualified to take part in the six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programs, accusing Tokyo of trying to block progress in the nuclear negotiations. In the first mention of the six-way talks by the North Korean media since their last round entered a recess last week, the Korean Central News Agency that Japan is throwing an ''artificial snag'' in the way of progress in denuclearization negotiations. Tokyo is obstructing progress in the talks by insisting that sanctions against North Korea should not be eased and by raising the issue of abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s within the framework of the nuclear discussions, the KCNA said. ''It is illogical for a country which does not wish to see any success of the talks to involve itself in the talks,'' KCNA said. ''Japan is not qualified to attend a political dialogue for peace and stability as it is swimming against the trend of the times '' it said. The six-party talks entered a recess after Pyongyang refused to discuss denuclearization issues until the release of frozen North Korea-linked funds at a Macao bank is completed. Among major problems between Japan and North Korea is the abduction issue. The two countries differ over the number of people abducted by North Korean agents as well as over what happened to some of them.
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