When visiting North Korea recently, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's adviser called for setting a "deadline" in bilateral talks aimed at resolving the thorny issue of the abductions of Japanese nationals, sources said.

The new details revealed Friday shed more light on the meetings between Isao Iijima and senior North Korean officials that took place during his unannounced, but widely reported, four-day trip to Pyongyang from May 14.

The North, for its part, demanded that Japan lift its original sanctions imposed on the communist country and asked it to permit the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) to continue to use the premises of its Tokyo headquarters and that the site not be sold, the sources said.