TOKYO, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) look into resuming high-level talks after a hiatus of more than a year, local media reported Monday.
The restart of formal talks between senior diplomats is expected to be agreed upon as soon as this week, when Foreign Ministry officials from the two countries hold informal talks on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of the two countries' Red Cross societies from Wednesday in Shenyang, northeastern China.
The focus of the talks will be Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs and the issues of Japanese citizens abducted decades ago.
Abductions in the 1970s and 1980s by the DPRK have been one of the major obstacles between the two countries to establish diplomatic ties.
Japan has still to confirm the resumption of talks, but Japanese Prime Shinzo Abe told reporters Monday that "I'm determined to do my best toward the full settlement of the abduction issue."
Japan's Kyodo News said, Junichi Ihara, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, and Song Il Ho, DPRK's ambassador for talks to normalize relations with Japan, will likely attend the high-level negotiations.
Formal meetings were suspended in December 2012 since DPRK fired the three-stage, long-range rocket called Unha-3 in December 2012.