Japanese Media Reports Say

Prime Minister Will Visit N. Korea

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit Pyongyang for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as early as May 22, Japan's Kyodo news agency and NHK television network reported Friday.

The meeting would be focused on recovering the relatives of five Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea during the 1970s and 1980s. The five were released in October 2002, but without eight close family members, including seven children. In addition, the reports said Koizumi's one-day trip would include broader talks regarding Japan-North Korea relations as well as North Korea's nuclear weapons programs.

-- Anthony Faiola


* PRETORIA, South Africa -- South Africa has agreed to grant temporary asylum to ousted Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, government officials said Thursday. It was unclear when Aristide, who is currently exiled in Jamaica, would arrive, but he will live under tight security in South Africa's capital of Pretoria at government expense, government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe said.

The Americas

* BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia's outlawed right-wing paramilitary groups agreed to move into a 230-square-mile haven in the northwest part of the country while they negotiate eventual demobilization, government officials said.

* BRASILIA -- Brazil's Supreme Court temporarily blocked the expulsion of a New York Times correspondent who wrote an article that offended President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva by suggesting he was a heavy drinker. The decision means Larry Rohter will be allowed to stay until the court decides whether the cancellation of his visa was constitutional.

* GUATEMALA CITY -- A Guatemalan judge placed former dictator Efrain Rios Montt under house arrest after he was accused of manslaughter for instigating a riot in July 2003 that killed a journalist.

Asia and the Pacific

* JAKARTA, Indonesia -- The Indonesian government decided to end martial law in the troubled province of Aceh, returning control to a civilian governor, but will continue a year-old military offensive against separatist rebels. In announcing that the province would be ruled under civilian emergency regulations starting next week, Interior Minister Hari Sabarno told reporters that Indonesia still faced a threat from rebels of the Free Aceh Movement, who have been fighting for an independent homeland at the country's westernmost tip.

-- Alan Sipress

* CANBERRA, Australia -- The Australian government launched an investigation into reports that suspected Taliban fighter David Hicks had been abused while in detention at a U.S. military facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

-- From News Services