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N. Korea announces live-fire drill, driving up tensions

North Korea announced a live-fire drill Monday near its disputed maritime border with South Korea, further ratcheting up tensions a day after threatening a "new form" of nuclear test. There was a swift response from the South Korean military, with the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) warning of immediate retaliation if any ordinance is fired across the border. The precise nature of the exercise was unclear, but the Yellow Sea border is an extremely sensitive region that has been the scene of brief but bloody clashes in the past.

N. Korea-Japan talks enter 2nd day with few signs of progress

BEIJING, March 31 (Yonhap) -- High-level officials from North Korea and Japan began their second day of talks in Beijing on Monday, with the Pyongyang delegate hinting that they made little headway in putting the abduction issue on the agenda. North Korea and Japan started the two-day talks on Sunday, the first of their kind since November 2012, led by Song Il-ho, the North Korean ambassador in charge of normalizing relations with Japan, and Junichi Ihara, chief of the Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau at Japan's foreign ministry.

N. Korea-Japan talks enter 2nd day with few signs of progress

BEIJING, March 31 (Yonhap) -- High-level officials from North Korea and Japan were to hold their second day of talks in Beijing on Monday, with the Pyongyang delegate hinting that they made little headway in putting the abduction issue on the agenda. North Korea and Japan started the two-day talks on Sunday, the first of their kind since November 2012, led by Song Il-ho, the North Korean ambassador in charge of normalizing relations with Japan, and Junichi Ihara, chief of the Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau at Japan's foreign ministry.

N. Korea calls for 'candid, serious' talks with Japan

BEIJING, March 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea and Japan resumed their first high-level talks in more than a year on Sunday, with the North's chief delegate calling for a "candid and serious attitude" for discussions expected to focus on the North's abduction of more than a dozen Japanese nationals decades ago. The two-day talks, the first of their kind since November 2012, started at the North Korean Embassy here, led by Song Il-ho, the North Korean ambassador handling relations with Japan, and Junichi Ihara, chief of the Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau at Japan's foreign ministry.

N. Korea calls for 'candid, serious' talks with Japan

BEIJING, March 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea and Japan resumed their first high-level talks in more than a year on Sunday, with the North's chief delegate calling for a "candid and serious attitude" for discussions expected to focus on the North's abduction of more than a dozen Japanese nationals decades ago. The two-day talks, the first of their kind since November 2012, started at the North Korean Embassy here, led by Song Il-ho, the North Korean ambassador handling relations with Japan, and Junichi Ihara, chief of the Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau at Japan's foreign ministry.

Japan asks N. Korea to put abduction issue back on agenda

Japan most likely proposed to North Korea on Sunday to put the abduction issue back on the agenda as their formal governmental negotiations resumed for the first time since November 2012. The two-day talks through Monday in Beijing came amid recent mixed signals from North Korea over its willingness to re-engage in diplomacy. Attention is focused on whether North Korea will agree to fulfill its promise to reinvestigate the cases of Japanese nationals it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.

Japan, N. Korea to seek settlement of outstanding issues

Japanese and North Korean senior diplomats on Sunday agreed to work toward the settlement of "outstanding issues" as the two governments held formal talks for the first time since November 2012. The talks, to run through Monday in Beijing, came amid recent mixed signals from North Korea over its willingness to re-engage in diplomacy. Attention is focused on if North Korea will agree to fulfill its promise to reinvestigate the cases of Japanese nationals it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.

N. Korea, Japan struggle to set agenda in talks: diplomat

BEIJING, March 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea and Japan have struggled to set the agenda for their first high-level talks in more than a year, a Pyongyang delegate said Sunday, hinting that the sides are making little headway in discussions that had been expected to focus on the North's abduction of more than a dozen Japanese nationals decades ago.

N. Korea, Japan struggle to set agenda in talks: diplomat

BEIJING, March 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea and Japan have struggled to set the agenda for their first high-level talks in more than a year, a Pyongyang delegate said Sunday, hinting that the sides are making little headway in discussions that had been expected to focus on the North's abduction of more than a dozen Japanese nationals decades ago.

N. Korean envoy calls for 'serious attitude' in talks with Japan

BEIJING, March 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's envoy called for Tokyo's "sincere attitude" as he headed into high-level talks with Japan on Sunday that resumed for the first time in more than a year for discussions expected to focus on the North's abduction of more than a dozen Japanese nationals decades ago. The two-day talks started Sunday morning at the North Korean Embassy here, led by Pyongyang' envoy Song Il-ho and Japanese foreign ministry's Junichi Ihara, chief of the Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau.
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