Japan expands sanctions aimed at N. Korea

By AFP   December 15, 2017 | 05:53 am PT
'The sanctions must be having an impact,' Abe said.

Japan said Friday it had added 19 more entities to its list of organizations and individuals targeted by asset-freeze sanctions on North Korea.

The sanctions list now comprises 103 entities and 108 individuals in total, including seven Chinese entities, five Chinese individuals, one Singaporean entity and two Namibian entities, it said.

They include organizations involved in financial services, coal and minerals trading, transportation and sending North Korean laborers abroad, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Japan has already imposed strict sanctions on North Korea, including a blanket ban on trade and port calls.

Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said: "North Korea launched an ICBM ballistic missile that landed in our exclusive economic zone and continues to repeat provocative commentaries.

"In light of this, as we host a ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council on December 15, we have decided on the asset freeze in order to further increase pressure" on the reclusive state, Suga said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an address to a group of news media executives in Tokyo, said North Korea is feeling the pain from increasing international sanctions, including the reduction of oil-product imports under U.N. sanctions.

"The sanctions must be having an impact," Abe said.

"It is possible that we will see further provocations. But what's important is that we do not bow to these threats. The international community must continue to coordinate and apply pressure until North Korea changes its policies and seeks negotiations," Abe said.

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