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Annan arrives in Japan after Republic of Korea

Secretary-General wraps up visit to Republic of Korea, arrives in Japan

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today wrapped up a visit to the Republic of Korea with a meeting with President Roh Moo-hyun, during which the two leaders discussed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear programme and Seoul’s relations with Japan.

After meeting with Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon yesterday the Secretary-General said the DPRK’s nuclear programme was by far the most important issue with that country and should be given a separate category and priority as distinct from human rights and other activities. He called for a resumption of diplomatic talks in Beijing between the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

On the issue of the sometimes stormy relations between the Republic of Korea, Japan and China, he said dialogue should continue.

Mr. Annan and his wife Nane later attended a luncheon hosted by the President and First Lady, before departing the country for Japan, where they arrived on the third leg of a six-nation tour.

The Secretary-General will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Tokyo tomorrow, as well as with other senior officials.

Mr. Annan who began his current trip in Vienna last week, will also visit China, Viet Nam and Thailand.

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