Japan expands sanctions against N/Korea, targets Russians

The Japanese government announced additional sanctions against North Korea on Friday, following the testing of long-range missile last month.

Tokyo said the assets of four Russia-based organisations, nine individuals, six North Koreans and three Russians would be frozen.

They are accused of involvement in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development programmes.

Pyongyang said in late March it had successfully tested a new, more powerful type of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could reach the United States.

However, South Korea’s Defence Ministry said earlier this week that evidence gathered suggested the projectile was in fact similar to an older model ICBM.

ICBMs are missiles that have a range of more than 5,500 kilometres.

Japan sees itself directly threatened by North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.

The abduction of Japanese by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s is also an obstacle to the normalisation of relations between the two East Asian states.

Among other things, the abductees were supposed to teach Japanese to North Korean spies.

For years, North Korea had denied having anything to do with the disappearance of the Japanese.

In September 2002, then North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, admitted the abductions for the first time. (dpa/NAN)

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