Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Mulls Visit to North Korea

Japan's former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is mulling a visit to North Korea to urge it to abandon its nuclear weapons program, public broadcaster NHK reported Thursday.

Koizumi told senior ruling party lawmaker Taku Yamasaki during a meeting late Wednesday that he was considering a trip as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's special envoy, according to the report.

Koizumi wants to urge the North to abide by the 2002 Pyongyang Declaration, a bilateral pact in which the North promised to maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia and freeze its missile program, the report said.

Monitor the nuclear showdown on the Korean Peninsula in's North Korea Center.

The mass-circulation daily, Yomiuri Shimbun, carried a similar report.

"Denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula is a responsibility I want to take on as politician," Koizumi was quoted as saying by Yomiuri.

The reports did not say when Koizumi's visit might be.

Complete coverage is available in's North Korea Center.