The nominal No. 2 leader of Democractic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has called for "fruitful relations" with Japan's next prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, but ties will depend on how Tokyo tackles issues such as compensation for Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule, Kyodo news agency reported Thursday.
Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, also suggested in an interview that leader Kim Jong-il had no health problems, adding that there had been no discussions on who would succeed him, Kyodo reported from Pyongyang.
Dancers celebrate the 61st anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea this week in front of the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang.
"The prospect of (DPRK)-Japan relations will solely depend on the attitude of the Japanese government," Kim Yong-nam was quoted by Kyodo as saying.
Ties between Japan and the DPRK have been rocky because of issues ranging from Japan's past colonization to alleged DPRK abductions of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as concerns about Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.