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N Korea at crossroads

Japan weighs $10bn in North Korea aid to spur return of citizens

Tokyo's trump card of economic assistance will follow normalization of relations

TOKYO/SEOUL -- Eager to bring closure to decades-old abductions of its citizens by North Korea, the Japanese government is seeking ways to talk directly with Pyongyang.

One trump card that Tokyo is trying to play is economic aid, which it promised at a landmark summit back in 2002 to give North Korea once diplomatic relations were normalized.

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