The Yomiuri correspondent in Washington writes that China has proposed setting up five subgroups under the Six-Party Talks, and one of them is supposed to cover "normalization of Japan-North-Korea relationships". The reporter expects to see the abductees issue taken care of there.
The North Korean leadership cannot make any more meaningful concessions on the abductees issue, so they cannot take this subgroup seriously. However, they will surely find ways to torment the chained dog with this bacon/stick in every which way, and have every reason to avail themselves of them. It will be of the extreme importance to Mssrs. Abe and Aso to be able to run in place on this issue, if and when there is (unlikely as it is) progress on the core WMD.