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Japan explains to S. Korea about envoy's visit to N. Korea


Japan has explained to South Korea about the results of a recent visit to North Korea by an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korea's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday.

"The Japanese side has offered an explanation through a diplomatic channel," spokesman Cho Tai Young said.

Cho declined to go into details about the results of the trip, saying it will be "appropriate" for the Japanese side to offer an explanation to the media.

South Korea earlier voiced concern to the envoy's visit to Pyongyang, made last week, saying the visit is "not helpful" on grounds that it is important for South Korea, the United States and Japan, as well as other members of the international community, to coordinate on North Korea.

Isao Iijima told North Korean officials during his recent trip to Pyongyang that Japan will not budge an inch until the abduction issue involving Japanese nationals is resolved, a Japanese government source said Saturday.

In talks with North Korean officials, Iijima demanded that Pyongyang return all Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea, hand over the abductors and provide a full accounting of the abductions, the source said.

"The Japanese government will not take any action unless these issues are resolved," Iijima was quoted as telling the North Koreans during his just-completed four-day visit.