Thursday, May 03, 2007

Japan Indicates More North Korea Sanctions May Be Needed

Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated that additional sanctions might be needed against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in case of its failure to meet its promise to shut down its nuclear reactor. Abe made the remarks at a press conference in Cairo where he is paying a one-day visit, noting that Japan and the United States agreed to strengthen cooperation over the DPRK issue when he met U. S. President George W. Bush on Friday at Camp David. He indicated that further action might be considered after the DPRK failed to take initial steps to meet its promise, warning that the country's economic situation would not improve or would even get worse.
Shinzo Abe
On Tuesday, senior officials of the United States and Japan had talks and urged the DPRK to fulfill its promise to shut its major nuclear facility. The DPRK, which failed to shut down its main nuclear reactor by the April 14 deadline as agreed in the six-party talks in February, insisted that its 25 million U.S. dollars frozen at Macao-based Banco Delta Asia (BDA) must be returned before closing the Yongbyon nuclear reactor and starting new negotiations. Coming from Doha, Qatar, Abe arrived here on Wednesday morning to wrap up his regional tour, which also took him to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. This is Abe's first visit to the Middle East since he took office in September 2006, which aims to enhance relations with the Mideast and Gulf countries to boost its role in the Middle East, both economically and politically.