Abe adviser Iijima meets N. Korea party secretary Kim Yong Il

An adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks Wednesday with a senior official of North Korea's Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, the North's official media reported.

Details of the meeting between Isao Iijima and Kim Yong Il, a secretary of the party's Central Committee, were not immediately known from a single-paragraph dispatch by Korean Central News Agency, but the two sides are believed to have discussed ways to address the issue of North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s.

Along with Kim, Iijima was expected to hold talks with Song Il Ho, ambassador for talks to normalize relations with Japan, and other North Korean officials during his unannounced visit to the country that began Tuesday.

Iijima plans to stay in Pyongyang until Friday, according to an informed source.

Depending on the progress of talks with North Korean officials, Iijima could extend his planned stay in the country, the source said.

Iijima was a top aide to former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who visited Pyongyang for talks with then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in September 2002 and May 2004. Iijima is said to have his own personal connection with North Korea.