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The government will tighten controls on the transfer of information technology and export of IT-related products to North Korea by revising trade control regulations this fall, official sources said.

The decision is part of sanctions against Pyongyang over its test-firing of missiles earlier this month, the sources said Wednesday.

The government has also tightened surveillance of exports to North Korea via third countries of materials and products that can be used for weapons of mass destruction, the sources said.

Under current trade control regulations, those who plan to export IT-related and high-tech products to North Korea that can be used to develop conventional weapons are only required to file an advance notification with the government.

Under an envisaged revision, such exporters will be obliged to obtain permission from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the exports, the sources said.

As for surveillance on exports of materials and products linked to weapons of mass destruction, the government has tightened the enforcement of controls introduced in 2002. These exporters are also required to seek the trade minister’s permission.

The controlled products include large semi-trailers that can be used to transport ballistic missiles.

No application has been filed so far, but the government has detected cases in which such materials and products from Japan have been shipped to North Korea via third countries.

The government is compiling a list of several dozen companies suspected of having close links with the North Korean government and will file criminal complaints if it confirms illegal exports, the sources said.

Following the July 5 missile launches by North Korea, Japan immediately imposed unilateral sanctions on the North, including banning a passenger-cargo ferry.

Japan is working on new economic sanctions targeting North Korea, including restrictions on remittances and the transfer of financial assets, in light of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the missile launches adopted earlier this month.

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