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Aso, Lee meet for cooperation on DPRK nuke threat, closer ties

JAPANESE Prime Minister Taro Aso and visiting South Korean president Lee Myung Bak met today, seeking closer cooperation in addressing the nuclear threat from Pyongyang and reaffirming closer bilateral ties.

Lee arrived in Tokyo in the morning -- his fourth visit to Japan as president and part of the so-called "shuttle diplomacy" between the two East Asian neighbors.

Lee's visit came as the international community aimed to punish Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) after its second underground nuclear test in May. The two leaders are expected to reaffirm the importance of bilateral and international cooperation to implement a new UN Security Council resolution on Pyongyang.

They are also expected to discuss ways to improve bilateral economic relations, as well as on the resumption of talks on a free trade agreement.

They are also likely to touch on international issues such as cooperation on anti piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia and economic assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The relationship between the two countries warmed recently after souring largely under former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi due to his repeated visits to Tokyo's war-related Yasukuni Shrine.


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