TOKYO — Japan and China agreed today that five North Korean asylum seekers who were dragged out of a Japanese consulate in northeastern China last week would be released and sent to a third country, Japanese media reported.
The Kyodo news agency said the agreement came during talks in Tokyo between China's ambassador to Tokyo and Japan's vice foreign minister.
Officials, however, would not confirm the deal. The two sides had agreed only on the importance of an urgent solution, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.
China and Japan have been at loggerheads over the asylum seekers, including a 2-year-old girl, since Chinese police seized them and dragged them from the consulate in the city of Shenyang a week ago.