Japan announces some fresh sanctions against North Korea after its recent rocket launch. Japan is going to ban all shipping from the country and also prevent North Korean nationals from entering the country.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “We have decided to take firm sanction steps.”
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan will expand restriction in travel between the two countries and would completely ban North Korean ships from visiting Japan’s ports. He confirmed that sanctions would be approved by the cabinet and there would be legislative changes in the parliament.
A government statement read, “all North Korean ships, including those for humanitarian purposes, shall be banned from coming to Japanese ports.”
The statement also added that any third-country ship which visited North Korea would also be prohibited from entering any Japanese port.
Japan has already eased some of the sanctions on North Korea in 2014 after it agreed to re-investigate issues relating to Japanese nationals kidnapped by North Korean agents.
In 2002, North Korea had admitted that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese to train its spies. Only 5 of them were able to return home since North Korea stated that the other 8 had already died. However, Japan believed that there were other Japanese nationals who were kidnapped to train North Korean agents, reported RTE.
The latest sanction announcement came after the UN Security Council’s strong condemnation of the nuclear tests and rocket launch. South Korea also has announced that it would suspend all operations at a jointly run Kaesong industrial park which is situated in North Korea, stated Al Jazeera. The suspension of operation was for the very first time after the industrial parks opening in 2004. The industrial park was established as a symbol of cross-border reconciliation.
Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo said, “Despite our efforts to support the Kaesong complex, the factory zone is seen as being used for North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.”
He added, “We’ve decided to halt the operation of the Kaesong complex to prevent South Korean money from being funneled into the North’s nuke and missile developments and to protect our companies.”
According to RTE News the Japanese as well as South Korean moves are announced a day after Prime Minister Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye spoke on the phone. Reportedly, both the leaders talked to President Barak Obama and discussed about taking strong actions against the North.