Tokyo, Dec 15: The Japan on Friday imposed new unilateral sanctions on North Korea, which include freezing the assets of Pyongyang-based firms, in response to the launch of the country’s latest ballistic missile.
The new sanctions come as an addition to a long list of punitive measures imposed by Japan which affect North Korean companies of different sectors and senior officials of the Kim Jong-un regime, as well as the movement of citizens between the two countries, IANS quoted citing Efe news reported.
The government decided to add 19 more companies on the list of businesses whose assets have been frozen, including firms related to financial services, coal and oil traders, shipping and the supply of workers overseas, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stated.
With the latest announcement, the total score of North Korean companies or entities subject to Japanese sanctions scaled up to 56, while 62 individuals have also been blacklisted.
However, many of these entities and people also figure in sanctions by the UN Security Council.
Addressing a press conference , Suga said the expanded sanctions, effective from Friday, are in response to North Korea’s continued provocative statements and actions as well as a lack of progress on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago.
The decision was timed to coincide with a UNSC ministerial meeting on the situation on the Korean peninsula, to take place in New York later on Friday, he added.
During the meeting, leaders will discuss about the latest North Korean missile launch as well as the conciliatory message issued by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier this week, amid numerous calls for talk between the international community and the Kim Jong-un regime.
On November 29, North Korea launched the intercontinental ballistic missile, which is as another step towards the regime’s aim of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching US territory.