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    TOKYO, SEOUL URGE RESUMPTION OF SIX-PARTY TALKS ON NORTH KOREA

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    TOKYO, April 1, 2004 - (RIA Novosti correspondent Andrei Fesyun). Foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea have confirmed the urgency of setting up as soon as possible of a working group to be engaged in preparations for a new six-party meeting on de-blocking the crisis around North Korea's nuclear program.

    In a telephone conversation on Thursday the head of Japan's foreign ministry, Yoriko Kawaguchi, and her South Korean counterpart Pak Ki-mun noted the importance of strengthening trilateral cooperation among Japan, South Korea and the USA for "pacifying nuclear ambitions of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)".

    As the Kyodo Tsushin agency has reported, Pak Ki-mun informed Kawaguchi about his visit to China during which he exchanged opinions with the Chinese leaders about the North Korean nuclear program.

    The two rounds of regional talks with the participation of the DPRK and the USA as well as other interested countries - Russia, China, South Korea and Japan took place in August 2003 and in February of this year.

    The Japanese minister again asked her South Korean counterpart to support Tokyo in its attempts to resolve the problem of the fate of the Japanese nationals abducted by the North Korean security services in 1970's -1980's. The head of the South Korean foreign ministry assured the Japanese minister that he would do his utmost to solve the issue.

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