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Bereaved families visit graves in N.Korea

A group of Japanese people made a visit on Sunday to the graves of relatives in the suburbs of Pyongyang, in North Korea. The relatives died in the closing days of World War Two, at the end of Japanese rule over the Korean Peninsula.

Nine Japanese have made the trip. They arrived on Thursday and will stay until July 5th.

Members of the group lit incense sticks at the gravesites. They arranged pictures of their deceased relatives and wooden markers, and quietly prayed. They were accompanied by officials from North Korea's foreign ministry.

Chue Goto from Miyagi Prefecture lost his mother in what is now North Korea. The two were fleeing from the area formerly known as Manchuria in northeastern China.

Goto said he was overcome with emotion. He said he told his late mother that he had survived, and had reached the age of 78.

The Japanese are also scheduled to visit graves in Wonsan on the Sea of Japan coast. North Korean authorities are believed to have fired short-range ballistic missiles on Sunday morning from a nearby launch site.

North Korea's foreign ministry says the missile launch will not affect the visitors' itinerary.

Jun. 29, 2014 - Updated 07:10 UTC