AKIPRESS.COM - Foreign Minister Taro Kono sought cooperation from Mongolia over efforts to settle the issue of past abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea, as Ulaanbaatar maintains friendly ties with Pyongyang, The Japan Times reports.
During talks between Kono and his Mongolian counterpart, Damdin Tsogtbaatar, in the Mongolian capital, the two agreed on the importance of fully implementing U.N. sanctions against North Korea to push the country toward denuclearization, according to Japanese officials.
Kono said the two countries are strategic partners sharing universal values and that he hopes to further develop their relationship. Tsogtbaatar agreed to deepen ties.
Tokyo, which has no diplomatic ties with North Korea, has often looked to Mongolia to act as a mediator. It is the first time in about nine years that a Japanese foreign minister has visited the country.
Japan officially lists 17 people as victims of abduction, five of whom were repatriated in 2002, and suspects the North’s involvement in many other disappearances.