Japan to freeze assets of 9 North Korean banks, 26 individuals

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a news conference at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo.
Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a news conference at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan will impose additional sanctions on North Korea in response to the continuing threat posed by the reclusive nation's missile and nuclear programmes, Japan's top government spokesman said on Tuesday (Nov 7).

The sanctions, mentioned by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a joint news conference with US President Donald Trump on Monday, will freeze the assets of nine organisations and 26 individuals, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

"The North Korean missile and nuclear issue is a pressing threat unseen before. Its provocative actions, in which it has ignored the severe warnings of international society, are totally unacceptable," he said.

The organisations are North Korean banks, several of them based in China, while the individuals are based in a number of nations, including China, Russia and Libya.

Suga said the move was taken in the wake of Trump's visit as a way of demonstrating the determination of the two nations to stand together and increase pressure on Pyongyang.

Trump said on Monday that the United States stood in solidarity with Japan on North Korea and called North Korea's ballistic missile launches over Japan "a threat to the civilised world and to international peace and stability."