The possibility of the next U.S. administration resuming talks with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs might reduce its incentives for reopening negotiations with Japan on the abduction issue, a U.S.-based Japanese expert on North Korean politics says.

Whoever wins Tuesday's presidential election in the United States, the next administration is likely to try to move stalled relations with North Korea forward because President Barack Obama's policy of "strategic patience" has been widely regarded as ineffective in curbing the North's weapons development program, said Keio University associate professor Atsuhito Isozaki.

While Washington was waiting for Pyongyang to change its behavior under the pressure of sanctions, Pyongyang appears to have moved closer to building an atomic bomb small enough to mount on a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.