N. Korea says more sanctions from Japan will spur ‘strong countermeasures’


A senior North Korean official said Thursday his country will take “strong countermeasures” against Japan if it implements new sanctions against the communist country, Japan’s Kyodo News said.

“We will take strong countermeasures,” Song Il-ho, North Korea’s ambassador on diplomatic normalization talks with Japan, said in an interview with Kyodo News. “The specific contents will become clear if you keep watching. We never speak empty words.”
The threat came after Japan decided to impose additional economic sanctions against North Korea for its claimed nuclear test Monday, imposing a ban on all imports from the communist country and banning its ships from entering Japanese ports. North Korean nationals will be prohibited from entering Japan, according to Japanese officials.

The sanctions are in addition to the measures already in place following Pyongyang’s missile tests in July, prohibiting the flow of funds and technology from Japan to 15 entities suspected to have links with North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs.

Japan’s additional measures are “more serious in nature” compared to sanctions imposed or considered by other countries, Song said. Pyongyang will take countermeasures by calculating Japan’s failure to adequately repent for its colonization of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945, he added.

He also said Pyongyang is watching closely what Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office last month, plans to do regarding relations between the two countries.

“We are watching his words and actions since becoming prime minister in a careful manner,” Song was quoted as saying.


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