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Monday, 27 August 2012 - 13:31
North Korea, Japan to hold first direct talks in four years
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North Korea and Japan will hold their first direct talks in four years with attention focused on whether they can show progress in overcoming deep-rooted suspicions that have constrained ties.

The two countries, at odds for decades, have never had formal diplomatic relations.

For Japan, North Korea's past abductions of its citizens, sabre-rattling ballistic missile tests over Japanese territory and underground nuclear experiments have curbed progress on normalising relations.

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