Published On: Fri, Jul 28th, 2017

North Korea faces more sanctions from Japan over weapons programmes

US media reported this week that the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon spy agency, had assessed that would be able to field a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by next year, earlier than previously thought. 

Mr Kishida told reporters that given the increasing threat posed by North Korea’s missiles and the fact that no concrete proposals have been made to resolve the issue of Japanese abducted decades ago by agents from the North, the steps had to be taken. 

“Given that we can’t expect meaningful dialogue, pressure on them is essential,” he said. 

will be taking steps to freeze the assets of five groups, including two from China, as well as nine individuals, Mr Kishida said, but did not give further details. 

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that the groups had “engaged in activities prohibited by a UN Security council resolution.” 

Mr Kishida said that Japan had been in contact with key allies such as the United States and South Korea, but gave no further details. 

The US Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to slap new sanctions on North Korea, Iran and Russia, including seeking to punish foreign banks that do business with North Korea. 

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs and the Security Council has ratcheted up the measures in response to five nuclear weapons tests and a series of missile launches. 

The United States is seeking further sanctions after North Korea tested a missile this month that was believed to be an ICBM.

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