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Japan’s Government to Take Tougher Line After Missile Launch

The Yomiuri Shimbun A screen displays the news of a North Korean missile launch in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, at 10 a.m. on Monday.

A screen displays the news of a North Korean missile launch in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, at 10 a.m. on Monday. The Yomiuri Shimbun

The government will adopt a sterner stance against North Korea, which has launched ballistic missiles three weeks in a row.

At the Group of Seven summit on Friday and Saturday in Taormina, Italy, the G-7 nations confirmed the need to strengthen pressure on Pyongyang, which is developing nuclear weapons and missiles. The G-7 members and other nations are expected to band together to work with the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution on additional sanctions.

The government was also to directly ask Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who arrived in Japan on Monday, to put more pressure on North Korea.

“Conducting ballistic missile launches three weeks in a row is an overt defiance of the international community,” Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters at the ministry’s office on Monday morning, condemning North Korea.

“We will hold discussions to find the most appropriate way to handle the situation, including what else the international community and the [U.N.] Security Council need to do,” Kishida added, expressing his intention to work with other nations toward new sanctions.

During the Taormina summit, leaders of the G-7 nations shared the recognition that North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions are “a top priority in the international agenda” and Pyongyang “poses new levels of threat,” as they wrote in the statement of the summit.

By calling on the G-7 member nations to unite, and for the United States and South Korea to band together with Japan, the government hopes to create a strong international coalition against Pyongyang. However, even though G-7 nations are taking the lead in asking the security council for further sanctions, the resolution will not be adopted if it is rejected by China and Russia, both of which have veto power.

China holds the key to changing North Korea’s stance, as it accounts for about 90 percent of Pyongyang’s total trade and has influence on the nation … (read more)

Source: The Japan News

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