Abe Aide Meets Top N.Korean Apparatchik

Japanese Cabinet Secretariat advisor Isao Iijima on Wednesday met with senior North Korean apparatchik Kim Yong-il, the North's official KCNA news agency said.

Kim is among the top 20 officials in the repressive regime and deals with international affairs.

KCNA did not say what was discussed.

Iijima is a close aide to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday and will stay in North Korea until the weekend. This suggests Iijima could meet other senior figures.

Japanese media said the purpose of Iijima's visit is to make progress on the issue of North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals in a bizarre campaign during the 1970s and 80s, which could have the power to sway votes in Abe's favor.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 16, 2013 12:08 KST