North Korea Rebukes Japan, Says Relations Hurt

Posted January 3rd, 2012 at 11:05 am (UTC-5)
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Pyongyang is lashing out at Japan's leadership, criticizing its behavior following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency criticized Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda by name Tuesday for not offering condolences. It also criticized Japan for raising a security alert following Kim's death.

The KCNA commentary said Japan's actions had dimmed prospects for bilateral relations.

Relations between Japan and North Korea have long been dominated by Tokyo's assertions that Pyongyang had been kidnapping Japanese nationals. But the KCNA commentary Tuesday said the issue no longer exists.

North Korea admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s and later allowed five abductees to return home. Japan suspects the North is still hiding survivors and has abducted more people than it admits.