Japanese government raises stakes on DPRK

From the BBC: 

The Japanese government is stepping up pressure on the DPRK by introducing legislation to impose formal economic sanctions.

North Korea has admitted kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and ’80s to train its spies. Five have been allowed to return. Japan has demanded proof of what happened to the others. It is sceptical about North Korea’s insistence that they are dead. It also believes more of its citizens may still be held by the government there.

Pyongyang and Tokyo have no diplomatic ties, but there is some trade between the two countries. (Chongryun)

This new bill would require the government to impose sanctions on North Korea unless it gets the answers it wants.  The punishments would include a ban on the docking of North Korean ships at Japanese ports, and stopping private individuals in Japan from sending money to Pyongyang.

Two years ago Japan passed a law setting out a range of similar measures that could be imposed. The new legislation is designed to strengthen that policy.  Japan has up to now stopped short of imposing sanctions, preferring instead to pursue the matter through occasional talks, but there has been little progress.

Pyongyang has always said any imposition of economic sanctions would be regarded as an act of war.




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