• Kyodo

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U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Japan on Wednesday to consider resuming food aid to North Korea. Annan made the request in a meeting with Takenori Kanzaki, leader of New Komeito, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, telling Kanzaki that North Korea is facing severe humanitarian difficulties.

Citing the example of the United States, Annan said Japan should override domestic political objections and provide food. Kanzaki said he will convey Annan’s message to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The U.S. said it will continue its food aid to North Korea despite a standoff over the country’s nuclear ambitions.

In another matter, Kanzaki urged Annan to visit Baghdad to avert a possible U.S.-led war, but Annan said the conditions are not there for him to conduct such a mission.

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