• Kyodo

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Ho Jong Man, chairman of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), left Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport for North Korea on Friday.

Ho’s visit to the North is his first since the government in 2006 banned Chongryon executives from re-entering Japan after trips to the communist country, when it leveled unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang in response to a missile launch.

Japan lifted the ban in July after North Korea opened a new probe into the Japanese it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.

Ho and other Chongryon executives, who obtained permission to re-enter Japan after the visit in advance, are to arrive in Pyongyang on Saturday after stopping in Beijing. They will participate in events for North Korea’s national foundation day next Tuesday.

They may also meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their stay.

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