Headline News


Japan may help DPRK scrap nuclear programme

Source: | 10-22-2008 14:23

A Japanese government spokesman said on Tuesday that Japan may help the Democratic People's Republic of Korea scrap its nuclear programme.

But it's refusing to give energy assistance to the DPRK, due to a feud over abducted Japanese citizens.

Seoul wants Japan to join South Korea, China, Russia and the United States in providing energy aid promised under a six-way agreement to end Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

But Japan is still refusing to offer energy aid, even though Washington has removed Pyongyang from its terrorism blacklist.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said Japan will not provide energy aid unless there is progress in the case of the 12 abducted people.

Concerns have been growing that Japan might be left behind in the six-way talks if it sticks to its tough stance over the long-simmering kidnapping issue.

An official from the DPRK cabinet said Japan has already lost the qualification to participate in the six-party talks, because it has obstructed the talks.

A South Korean official said on Tuesday that it might be necessary to seek an alternative if Japan can not participate in energy aid.

A Japanese newspaper said the United States had been in final stages of arranging other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, to foot some of the bill.

The six parties have agreed one million tons of heavy fuel or energy aid for the DPRK when it disables its nuclear facility at Yongbyon and declares its nuclear programmes.

Japan is considering providing money and technology worth about 16 billion yen to scrap its nuclear programme, instead of energy aid.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei