North Korean and Japanese Red Cross organizations have reached agreement regarding the remains of Japanese citizens lost during World War II lying inside North Korean territory.
The North Korean chief delegate to the meeting in Beijing, Secretary-General Ri Ho Rim told reporters at its conclusion this lunchtime, “There was serious discussion about the problem of Japanese remains, and in the process we came to better understand the other side’s point of view. We agreed to keep discussing the issue positively going forward.”
“We agreed on some of the issues,” Ri went on, “and agreed to keep discussing the remaining important ones.”
Giving his own comments, Japanese Red Cross Society Director-General Osamu Tasaka said that the two sides now planned to bring their respective governments into the frame so as to build on the opening exchange of views.
The Red Cross meeting, held over two days in the Chinese capital, was the first of its kind since August 2002. Suggested by the Japanese side and accepted by the North Koreans, it also came only days after the visit to Pyongyang of Kim Jong Il’s former sushi chef, Japanese citizen Fujimoto Kenji, a state of affairs that is inevitably arousing interest in the future of North Korea-Japan relations.