Japan to Impose Additional Sanctions on North Korea

North Korea

By Reuters 2016-12-02 19:41:40

Japan will impose additional sanctions on North Korea following the country's fifth nuclear test in September and consider further measures depending on Pyongyang's moves, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Friday.

Japan will expand a list of people prohibited from reentering Japan after visiting North Korea, while also banning all ships that have called at ports in North Korea, Suga told a news conference.

Tokyo will also freeze the assets of more groups and individuals connected to North Korea's nuclear and missiles development, he said.

Japan's decision came after the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea this week aimed at cutting its annual export revenue by a quarter.

South Korea also said on Friday it would impose new unilateral sanctions on North Korea.

Both South Korea and Japan already have comprehensive unilateral sanctions in place against North Korea. In February, Seoul suspended operations at a jointly run factory park just inside North Korea, ending the only significant daily interaction across the heavily fortified inter-Korean border.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told the Security Council on Wednesday the United States was realistic about what the new sanctions on North Korea could achieve.

"No resolution in New York will likely, tomorrow, persuade Pyongyang to cease its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons. But this resolution imposes unprecedented costs on the DPRK (North Korea) regime for defying this council's demands," she said.

The new U.S.-drafted U.N. resolution is intended to slash North Korea's exports of coal, its biggest export item, by about 60 percent with an annual sales cap of $400.9 million, or 7.5 million metric tons, whichever is lower.

It also bans North Korean copper, nickel, silver and zinc exports - and the sale of statues. Pyongyang is famous for building huge, socialist-style statues which it exports mainly to African countries.