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Japan Considers Economic Sanction on North Korea

Posted December. 09, 2004 22:44,   


As the remains of abducted Japanese that were sent by North Korea were proven to be others, the Japanese media reported yesterday that their government will not provide North Korea the remaining 125,000 tons from the original 250,000 tons of food aide.

The remaining amount from the $3million worth of medical supplement will also be on hold.

“The Committee of the House of Representatives on Abduction Issue" will discuss the economic Sanction on North Korea at a special session today. The Committee will also adopt its resolution on North Korea. However, the Japanese government plans to maintain conversation with North Korea, as the amity negotiation may be broken due to the economic Sanction. Therefore, the government will demand the resumption of working level consultation with North Korea in early 2005 to discuss the matter of missing Japanese whom are suspected of having been abducted,

However, the major Japanese newspapers including Asahi urged the Japanese government the economic Sanction on North Korea by writing about the fake remains issue on the editorials altogether.

Asahi warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, saying, “Kim should recognize the rage of the Japanese people,” and added, “He should not forget that economic Sanction is one of the options.” Also, the paper demanded reprehension of the people responsible and acceptable investigation results.

“It is not a matter to be concluded only with strong protest,” Yomiuri shimbun asserted. “The bills required for the Sanction are now ready, and the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party)’s five step Sanction scenario should be considered for activation.”

In the meantime, the U.S. showed its concern over the rise of the vigorous atmosphere in Japan against North Korea and expressed that it should not have a negative effect on the upcoming six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear issue.

As there is a growing voice that Japan should not participate in the six-party talks until North Korea responds to the abduction matter properly, U.S. State Department spokesperson Adam Ereli commented, “(Even after the fake remains incident) We have no reason to doubt Japan’s sincerity, commitment, and enthusiasm for the six-party talks.”

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com