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Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama offered a compromise to North Korea earlier this month to break a deadlock in normalization talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang, but the North Korean response was not positive, sources to close to Japan-North Korea relations said Saturday.

Murayama, who visited North Korea between Nov. 30 and Dec. 5 as head of a nongovernmental organization delegation, proposed the plan in a meeting Monday with Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly, the sources said.

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