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Tokyo aide again notes work on North sanctions

Sept 15,2006
TOKYO ― The heir apparent to Japan’s prime minister’s chair said yesterday that new financial sanctions against North Korea by Tokyo could come soon.
Shinzo Abe, the chief cabinet secretary, refused to confirm other reports that such a decision could be made as early as Tuesday. But he said the government was considering its options.
“Right now, the government is considering the issue in principle,” he was quoted as saying by Japan’s Kyodo News.
Concern is mounting in Tokyo and elsewhere that North Korea could be planning further missile tests or perhaps an underground nuclear test.
The remarks from Mr. Abe, who is expected to succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi before the end of the month, came a day after Mr. Koizumi also hinted at the possibility. But he said his government would first “have to consult on the matter with the United States and South Korea.”
New sanctions would be a blow to North Korea, which derives a large portion of its foreign exchange from remittances by pro-Pyongyang Koreans living in Japan.
A United Nations Security Council resolution condemned the communist country for test-firing seven ballistic missiles on July 5 in defiance of international warnings.
The unanimous resolution by the 15-seat Security Council also prohibited any transfer to or from the communist state of materials, technology or financial resources related to the country’s weapons program.
North Korea immediately rejected the resolution, calling it a “gangster-like” act by Washington and its allies.


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