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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun will hold a summit Dec. 17 to Dec. 18 in the “onsen” hot spring resort of Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, Foreign Ministry sources said Friday.

The summit, aimed at strengthening personal ties between the two leaders, will be officially confirmed by Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura and South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki Moon at their meeting in Hanoi on Saturday.

Koizumi and Roh are expected to reaffirm bilateral cooperation to resolve the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and to renew their commitment toward concluding a bilateral free-trade agreement by the end of 2005.

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