Formal talks between Japan and North Korea have been going on for nearly two years. They are about settling some "outstanding issues." One of them is the unsettled problem of the 17+ Japanese abductions. According the N. Korea the matter was settled when they returned a few (not all) the abductees. N. Korea said the others were dead. Obviously this answer did not satisfy Japan, and the families of the abductees, so there were measures to try to get the cases reopened. At least N. Korea is willing to say they are open to the idea of reinvestigating. It is unknown if N. Korea is truly sincere in reinvestigating the abduction of Japanese innocence. ( I personally don't think N. Korea will be putting any real work, if they do reopen the abduction cases.) Anyway, if this promise is followed through, Japan has lead on they will lift sanctions. One mentioned specifically, is the banning of North Koreans into Japan. Which is perfectly reasonable to put into place after Japanese citizens were abducted. N. Korea has some reasons to want this sanction lifted, may it be to have better transportation or economic opportunities (or to abduct for people), we won't know. There is also vague mention, from Japan, about nuclear and missile development programs. N. Korea has shown no signs of stopping any of its programs, but Japan has shown concerns for some of the testing N. Korea has displayed. Out of safety concerns Japan filed a protest about the test launch of the two missiles launched into the Sea of Japan by N. Korea to the U.N.
For Japan, this is clearly the goal of negotiations. It has been Japan's goal to stop the use of nuclear missiles and any nuclear weapons for a while especially after the two nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a huge advocate from the U.N. for peace among countries (and partly for their own safety) Japan wants to be able to negotiate a way to stop or restrain N. Korea's programs. Although they stopped some talk activities because of tests by N. Korea that went against U.N policy their attempt to stop N. Korea (and being successful in actually getting N. Koreans and Japanese diplomats into the same room) is appreciated.
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