Auction for headquarters of pro-Pyongyang group to be held in Oct.

The Tokyo District Court will hold a second round of auction to sell the headquarters building and its premises of the pro-Pyongyang residents' body in Japan in October, sources close to the matter said Friday.

The court will announce the auction on Sept. 18 and accept bids from Oct. 3 to 10 for the properties in central Tokyo of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon, to recoup loans to the group by the Japanese government-backed Resolution and Collection Corp, the sources said.

Chongryon serves as North Korea's de facto diplomatic mission in Japan in the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

A successful bidder will be determined on Oct. 22. The standard price will be set at about 2,668 million yen, unchanged from the initial round, the sources said.

The district court will conduct the auction for the second time as the winning bidder of the first one held in March failed to raise funds to acquire them.

The first winner of the tender was the Saifuku-ji Buddhist temple in Kagoshima, on the southern tip of Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu, which offered 4,519 million yen.

But the temple's chief priest Ekan Ikeguchi, who has deepened ties with senior officials of North Korea as well as Chongryon and had intention to lease the building to the group, dropped the plan because he was unable to secure loans.

The temple's security deposit of about 500 million yen was forfeited and it is not allowed to participate in the second bidding.

The court decided to carry out the auction for the headquarters in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward in July last year as demanded by the RCC, which took over about 62.7 billion yen left by collapsed financial institutions in Japan for pro-Pyongyang Korean residents, seizing Chongryon's assets.