Japan eyes more North Korea sanctions

by Hiroko Nakata

The government is considering imposing additional sanctions on North Korea, including banning the transfer of financial assets and stricter export controls, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.

The government has already instructed ministries to work on steps to bolster its already existing ban on the export of materials that could be linked to North Korea’s nuclear arms and missile programs.

His remarks came in light of Pyongyang’s strong rejection of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the North’s July 5 missile tests.

“We have already discussed with other nations and gained information” about possible financial sanctions, he told a news conference. “Regarding this point, global cooperation, including that with the United States, is extremely important.”

The government invoked the economic sanctions law for the first time after North Korea’s missile launches, banning the ferry Mangyongbong-92 for six months and North Korean officials and chartered flights from entering Japan.

The U.N. resolution passed Sunday bans all U.N. member states from selling material or technology for missiles or weapons of mass destruction to North Korea, and it bans all countries from receiving missiles, weapons or technology from Pyongyang.

It calls on North Korea to “suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program” and re-establish a moratorium on launching missiles.

It also strongly urges Pyongyang to return to the six-party talks on its nuclear program.

“I understand that the resolution has binding force on every member country of the U.N.,” Abe said. “The U.S., Britain and France share the same view.”