Japan extends sanctions against North Korea

A satellite company says this image was taken shortly after North Korea launched the rocket.
Japan has tightened economic sanctions against North Korea to punish the communist regime for its recent rocket launch, Japanese government officials said Friday.

The Japanese cabinet approved the new set of sanctions and tightened the monetary transmission rules to North Korea, said the officials. Under the new rule, any monetary transmission to North Korea over 10 million yen ($100,000) and cash delivery over 300,000 yen ($3,000) has to be reported to the government. The sanctions also extended a current import ban and embargo on North Korean vessels to Japanese ports. The current sanctions were imposed first in 2006, when North Korea conducted a long-range missile test. Ignoring international warnings, North Korea launched a long-range rocket Sunday that it said put a communications satellite in orbit. U.S. officials, however, said the rocket’s payload fell harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean.

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Japan, the United States and other Western nations are seeking a resolution from the U.N. Security Council against North Korea for the launch, which they say violates other U.N. resolutions barring Pyongyang from such launches. Watch North Korea’s “Dear Leader” make a rare public appearance » The five permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, Russia, France, China and the United Kingdom — have been unable to come to agreement on any resolution, however.