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Japan ready to act if N. Korea conducts nuke test

Publication Date : 06-02-2013

 

The Japanese government will tighten sanctions on North Korea if it conducts a third nuclear test, including prohibiting North Korean officials living in Japan from reentering, it has been learned.

If North Korea conducts a nuclear test in defiance of international warnings, the Security Council of Japan will convene that day. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who chairs the council, will release a statement condemning North Korea for the test and call on members of the UN Security Council to hold a meeting on the issue.

The government will urge the council to adopt a resolution containing additional sanctions on North Korea.

Upon a decision by the government's liaison council on measures to deal with radioactivity, the Defence Ministry will deploy T-4 jet trainer aircraft of the Air Self-Defence Force with equipment to collect radioactive substances from the atmosphere.

The government will ask US forces in Japan to provide data on radioactive materials collected by a WC-135 Constant Phoenix, a special-purpose aircraft for detecting radioactive materials. The plane is stationed at US Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture.

Following Pyongyang's launch of a ballistic missile in 2006, the government imposed a ban on four senior officials of a North Korea-affiliated organisation in Japan from reentering the country. The four include senior officials of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), who also are members of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly.

The tighter sanctions will likely have only a limited effect, but they will offer a symbolic indication of the government's condemnation of Pyongyang's nuclear test.

The government discussed the possibility of lowering the upper limit of remittances that can be sent from Japan to North Korea without being declared to the Finance Ministry. But the idea of reducing the current 3 million yen limit was shelved.

"We thought it would be better to keep it as a card to be used later," a source close to the prime minister said.

 

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