Japan extended its sanctions against North Korea for two more years, including a ban on all trade with the regime, amid a historic level of tensions on the Korean peninsula with a record number of weapons tests by the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
“We will make every effort to comprehensively resolve the issues of nuclear and missile programsin close coordination with the international community,” said the government spokesman, Hirokazu Matsuno.
The Cabinet of the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishidaapproved this extension before the sanctions expire next Thursday, which came into force in 2006 and that prohibit trade with the country and also the mooring in Japan of any vessel that has called at a North Korean port.
The Tokyo decision coincides with the naval maneuvers made this week by South Korea, Japan and the US near the Korean peninsula that sought to deal with the “growing underwater threats” posed by the regime of Kim Jong-un.
These maneuvers occurred shortly after Pyongyang announced two tests of a nuclear submarine drone which can supposedly generate radioactive tsunamis to hit fleets and ports.
In addition to weapons tests, Japan also decided to maintain these sanctions in response to the kidnappings carried out by North Korea. decades ago and which remain the main obstacle between Tokyo and Pyongyangwhich do not maintain diplomatic relations.
Between 1977 and 1983, North Korea kidnapped at least 17 Japanese -9 women and 8 men-, according to official figures from the Government of Japan, to act as teachers of Japanese language and culture for the North Korean spies.
This Friday, the diplomatic envoys for nuclear affairs of South Korea, Japan and the US called on the international community to repatriate the North Korean workers abroad in order to reduce the sending of remittances that serve to finance the weapons of mass destruction program of the dictatorship of Kim Jong-un.
The three envoys, South Korean Kim Gunn, Japanese Takehiro Funakoshi and American Sung Kim issued a statement at the end of their trilateral meeting in Seoul condemning the regime’s repeated ballistic missile launches “as well as its destabilizing and escalating rhetoric related to the use of nuclear weapons”.
The meeting comes just 10 days after the North Korean dictator inspected tactical nuclear warheads, a type of weaponry that Pyongyang had never displayed before and that North Korea is focused on improving its short-range atomic weapons for potential use against South Korea. South or neighboring countries like Japan.
In the statement, the three diplomats highlighted “that according to the resolution of the UN Security Council 2397 of 2017 Member States must repatriate all workers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (official name of North Korea) who are generating income in their jurisdictions”.
The text “deplores the violation of human rights” that supposes the diversion of the income of these workers to finance the nuclear and missile program and affects not only workers who perform physical labor (usually in sectors such as lumber or construction) but also in the growing number of North Korean communications engineers winning contracts under false nationalities.
“We are also deeply concerned about the way in which North Korea finances these weapons programs through the theft and laundering of funds, as well as the collection of information through malicious cyber activities,” the letter added.
In 2022 alone, it is estimated that North Korea managed to steal $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies through its army of hackers.
(With information from EFE)
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