Negotiators from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Japan began discussing security issue in Beijing on Tuesday as the bilateral talks went into the fourth day.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, Japanese ambassador in charge of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, said before the talks that if the two countries are to improve diplomatic ties, it is essential that the nuclear and missile issues should be resolved together with the abduction issue.
Jong Thae Yang, deputy chief of the DPRK Foreign Ministry's U.S. Affairs Department, confirmed after the talks that the two sides discussed East Asian peace and security issue.
"We expressed our concerns on the issue. I believe that we have reached an understanding," he said.
Yamamoto called the talks "a frank exchange of views on security issue, including the nuclear and missile issue."
He said the two sides still have their differences but the talks have been vital in deepening understanding of each other's position.
There has been an agreement on the importance of holding further negotiations based on the Pyongyang Declaration, he added.
According to the Japanese negotiator, the security talks were brought to a close in the first half of the day and the two sides continued to discuss the abduction issue in the afternoon session.
The talks, which started in the Chinese capital on Saturday, have been arranged to cover the abduction issue, improvement of diplomatic ties and the security issue. Each of the three issues were expected to have one day for discussion.
The panel specializing in the security issue met in a Beijing hotel on Tuesday morning, with Jong Thae Yang and Tadamichi Yamamoto as chief representatives.
Kim Chol Ho and Kunio Umeda, chief delegates from the DPRK and Japan to the bilateral panel on the abduction issue, met on Sunday and both sides aired their opinions and stances. They agreed to continue talks on the matter.
The talks on improving diplomatic relations were held on Monday, with Koichi Haraguchi, Japanese ambassador in charge of the Japan-DPRK diplomatic talks, and Song Il Ho, ambassador of the DPRK in charge of the DPRK-Japan talks, as negotiators.
No full agreement was reached in the talks, but the two sides agreed to continue relevant discussion.
The DPRK and Japan have not yet decided whether to carry on the talks when the scheduled meetings are over.
It has been over three years since the last round of similar talks between the two nations held in Malaysia in 2002.
Prior to the ongoing talks, the two countries held a meeting in Beijing on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 in 2005, during which they agreed to set up three working groups for negotiations on history, security guarantee and abduction issue.