Japan to extend North Korea sanctions for two years

World Tuesday 09/April/2019 12:38 PM
By: Times News Service
Japan to extend North Korea sanctions for two years

Tokyo: Japan is extending its sanctions on North Korea for another two years beyond their 13 April expiration date, a top government spokesman has said.

The decision came at a cabinet meeting earlier today.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference, "While working closely with the international community, we will make the utmost effort to resolve nuclear, missile, and abduction issues."

He also stated that sanctions were the most effective way of resolving ongoing issues.

Japan unilaterally imposed sanctions in 2006 following North Korea's first nuclear test and the test-launch of ballistic missiles over the Sea of Japan the same year. They have been extended several times before.

Tokyo bans all trade with North Korea and port calls by North Korean ships except for humanitarian reasons. Japan also bans all trade chartered flights between the two countries.

The abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea remains one of the biggest issues between the two states. Tokyo has been calling for Pyongyang to take steps to prevent the abductions of Japanese nationals,

In 2002, North Korea admitted that it had abducted 13 Japanese citizens from the Japanese coast in the 1970s-80s.

Pyongyang returned five victims and their families but has insisted that the other eight were dead. Japan has demanded proof of their deaths and believes 17 were kidnapped.