Japan sanctions five organizations linked to North Korean weapons programs

Tokyo, Oct 18 (EFE).- Japan announced Tuesday the imposition of new sanctions on North Korea, including freezing the assets of five organizations linked to its missile and nuclear programs, following a spate of tests by the regime.

Top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno described North Korea’s “provocative” actions as a threat to Japan’s security and defense and to the peace and security of the region and the world.

Matsuno called the pace of testing “unacceptable” and also slammed Pyongyang’s inaction in resolving the kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korean agents decades ago, a dispute that the regime considers settled, while Tokyo demands the return of the affected to Japan.

The Japanese official said that due to all these reasons, at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, five organizations were added to the list of sanctions for violating the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear weapons development programs.

Japan had also imposed sanctions on North Korea in April, when it froze the assets of nine individuals and four organizations linked to its weapons programs, following the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the first such test since 2017.

Since late September, the North Korean has conducted launches at an unprecedented rate – nine tests in 20 days -, including that of an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over northern Japan earlier this month.

Matsuno urged North Korea “to take concrete actions” to de-escalate tensions and resolve ongoing disputes and said that Japan would continue to seek its denuclearization through cooperation with the United States and South Korea. EFE


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