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The Liberal Democratic Party and its two smaller non-Cabinet allies received an invitation Oct. 20 from North Korea’s ruling party and are expected to send a delegation to North Korea in the near future.Officials of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan handed the letter of invitation to the LDP, the Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake. The letter, dated Oct. 15 by the Workers Party of North Korea, says the country wants to discuss a “wide range of issues concerning both countries that include humanitarian issues,” according to LDP officials.It also says the outcome will benefit the people in both countries. It has not been decided when the delegation, consisting of four members from the LDP, three from the SDP and one from Sakigake, will be sent.An LDP official told reporters the delegation will visit after Japanese wives of North Koreans have made their first homecoming visit. A list of 15 Japanese wives allowed to visit Japan was sent to Japan on Oct. 9, but the women are still said to be on standby in Pyongyang. Their names have not been disclosed.Some LDP members have been raising concern that the visit should not be taken as a celebration of Kim Jong Il being elected party chief, and that the discussion should touch on the issue of Japanese allegedly abducted by North Korean agents.

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