• Kyodo

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Hwang Jang Yop, the highest-ranking North Korean to defect to South Korea, accepted an offer Monday from a Diet committee to deliver testimony on the current situation in his former country.

Hwang agreed to visit Japan in mid-September at the invitation of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, according to Masaharu Nakagawa, a lawmaker from the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

Nakagawa is visiting Seoul as a representative of the Diet panel.

Hwang, a former secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea and once one of North Korea’s top theorists, defected during a visit to China in 1997.

Nakagawa said Hwang accepted the offer to speak about the situation in North Korea and expressed hope to stay in Japan for seven to 10 days.

The committee had initially sought a three-day visit, but Hwang was quoted as saying he needs more time to explain North Korea to the Japanese public.

The committee, which decided Friday to invite Hwang, will soon extend an official invitation and ask for cooperation from the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade regarding the visit.

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