• Kyodo News

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A family of four defectors from North Korea seeking asylum met Tuesday with consular officials at the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo, apparently to communicate their desire to go to South Korea, sources said.

The Justice Ministry meanwhile issued landing permits for temporary asylum. The government is in the final stage of talks with Seoul so the four, a couple and their two adult sons, can leave Japan soon. South Korea has said it will take them in.

Arriving at a port in Aomori Prefecture on June 2, the four were placed under protective custody at a police station. They were transferred to an immigration facility in Ibaraki Prefecture after gaining ministry permission for entry into Japan on a provisional basis.

Prosecutors have decided to hold off on indicting the son who was found with a small amount of amphetamines when the family arrived in Japan.

For related stories:
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N. Korea family was desperate to escape
Suspected N. Korean defectors enter port

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