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Japan's PM Considers Visit to North Korea - 2003-07-06

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is reported to be considering a visit to North Korea in September to try to break an impasse over its nuclear weapons program.

The Nihon Keizai newspaper said Sunday that Japanese officials are conducting talks with what was called "concerned countries" for such a visit.

The newspaper reported Mr. Koizumi intends to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions and cooperate with the international community.

Mr. Koizumi made an historic visit to North Korea last September and met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who admitted that Pyongyang had kidnapped Japanese in the 1960s and 1970s to help train North Korean spies.