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Japan envoy visiting US to discuss NKorea

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News,Nation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Japanese envoy expects to travel to Washington next week for talks with the U.S. on North Korea.

Japan's director general for Asian affairs, Junichi Ihara, will meet Tuesday with U.S. envoy on North Korea, Glyn Davies.

The meeting follows Ihara's recent talks with North Korea about Japanese citizens abducted by the North in the 1970s and 1980s. The North agreed to open a new investigation into the abductions, and once it begins, Japan says it will consider humanitarian aid for North Korea and lifting some sanctions.

It was the biggest step forward in years to thaw frozen relations between Tokyo and Pyongyang.

But the U.S. and South Korea will be concerned that Japan's outreach on the abductions could weaken diplomatic efforts for North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

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