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Abe to meet ministers over N. Korea after bilateral talks


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with some of his ministers Thursday to discuss Japan's relations with North Korea, a day after the two countries ended the latest round of intergovernmental talks on a range of issues, including Pyongyang's past abductions of Japanese citizens.

Abe, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and two other Cabinet members will have some "consultations" based on a briefing by the delegation who returned home from the three-day talks through Wednesday in Stockholm, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.

Suga, the top government spokesman, will join the meeting along with Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of the abduction issue.

Japan and North Korea failed to reach agreement during the talks in which Tokyo pressed Pyongyang to reinvestigate the abductions in the 1970s and 1980s that have prevented the neighboring countries from normalizing relations.

But they said they will continue talks, which will also cover issues such as whether Japan would lift sanctions on the North for the abductions and its nuclear and missile development in defiance of U.N. resolutions.