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Japan extends North Korea sanctions for two years, ahead of Suga-Biden talks

Tokyo: The Japanese government extended sanctions against Pyongyang by two years on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming talks between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden, the NHK broadcaster reports.

Japan has imposed unilateral sanctions against North Korea since 2006. At the end of last month, NHK reported that the Japanese government was likely to extend the sanctions, including a ban on all trade.

The Tuesday extension came after Suga’s cabinet approved it ahead of the measures’ expiration on April 13.
Japan says the sanctions are a response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. They ban trade and prohibit the docking of North Korean ships in Japan.

North Korea conducted two cruise and ballistic missile tests in March. The launches sparked concerns among a number of states that requested closed consultations on the matter at the UN Security Council.

North Korean senior official Ri Pyong Chol said the missile tests were a right of a sovereign state for self-defense over the military threat posed by the United States and South Korea.

The recent missile tests conducted by Pyongyang are expected to be on the agenda of talks between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden in Washington on April 16.

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