• Kyodo

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A secret North Korean negotiator with Japan, who had been directly connected to the leadership in Pyongyang and who was behind major bilateral developments over the past two decades, lost contact with Tokyo several years ago, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The liaison, known as "Mr. Y" among the Japanese intelligence community, had told his contacts in Tokyo that he had fallen ill. Several Japanese government sources said Japan and North Korea had "lost a behind-the-scenes negotiation channel."

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