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Senior United States administration officials conducted secret discussions with North Korea following the death of Kim Jong Il, according to The Asahi Shimbun.

The report said U.S. military planes shuttled between Guam and Pyongyang on April 7, 2012, and then again from Aug. 18 through Aug. 20 last year. The purpose of the meeting with North Korean officials was to discuss policies in the leadership transition, according to the Japanese daily.

The Shimbun said it believed those aboard the aircraft included: Sydney Seiler, director of Korea at the U.S. National Security Council; and Joseph DeTrani, who formerly led the North Korea department at the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The U.S. did not keep Japan abreast of the talks, “Although the visits had potential implications for Japan,” the newspaper said.

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