WASHINGTON, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The United States reaffirmed its support on Tuesday for Japan on the abduction issue, urging the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to address Japan's concern.
"The United States wholeheartedly supports Japan's position on the abductee issue. We have not forgotten and will never forget the suffering of the abductees and their families," said State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood.
"We strongly urge the DPRK to address Japan's concerns without further delay," said the spokesman.
According to Wood, Special Representative for North Korea Policy Ambassador Stephen Bosworth and Special Envoy for the six-party talks Sung Kim met with Japanese abductee advocacy organizations and family members on Monday in Washington.
The two diplomats also met with delegation of the DPRK defectors and advocacy organizations. "We remain deeply concerned about the human rights situation in North Korea," said the spokesman.
The abduction issue has been a major sticking point for Japan and the DPRK and hampered the normalization of their bilateral relations.
The DPRK has admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s. It has returned five victims and their families and declared the row closed. But Japan insists the DPRK is hiding survivors and abducted more people than it acknowledges. ¡¡