This resulted in several meetings entitled Six-Way Talks with representatives from North and South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States. These talks were aimed at finding a peaceful middle ground and maintaining the initial agreements of Pyongyang`s declaration for both sides, Japan and North Korea. The deal was reached shortly after the Yokota were able to first see their North Korean-born granddaughter or Megumi`s daughter during a secret meeting in Mongolia. This obvious gesture of goodwill by North Korea paved the way for the Stockholm Agreement. But North Korea refused to let in Japanese officials, calling the deal “invalid,” after Japan tightened economic sanctions against the country in 2016 in response to a series of nuclear and ballistic missile tests. Pyongyang`s Japan-North Korean Declaration was signed in 2002 and was the result of a systematic Japan-North Korean summit. Pyongyang`s declaration was initiated with the aim of creating diplomacy between the two nations, where it did not exist before due to historical hostility. The purpose of the declaration was to provide North Korea with long-term loans at reduced rates as well as economic aid (including humanitarian aid), in accordance with the moratorium on nuclear missile development in force since 1999.  However, in current developments, this category of the agreement has been violated. (See North Korea and weapons of mass destruction). The Japanese government wanted the return of the abducted Japanese citizens, which was not recognized before the declaration. As part of a major agreement signed in Stockholm in May 2014, Pyongyang agreed to conduct a wide-range investigation of those abducted in Japan in North Korea, in exchange for Tokyo ananimating some of its sanctions against the country.
This claim was consistent with the trend of North Korea meeting with representatives of all six sides from 2018, while Japanese representatives were excluded.  This request was seen by the Japanese government as an olive branch to the North Korean government, given that its main concern is to have a personal meeting with current Chairman Kim Jong-un in order to reach an agreement on the remaining abductees reported by North Korea as dead or never entered the country. As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated: The planned trips were based on the Stockholm Agreement, under which Pyongyang agreed to reopen an investigation into the fate of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as those who remained on the Korean Peninsula after the end of the war. . . .