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  Thursday, December 12, 2019
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Japan's prime minister cautioned against imposing sanctions on North Korea in comments on the country's nuclear programs Monday
Japan's prime minister cautioned against imposing sanctions on North Korea in comments on the country's nuclear programs Monday, saying that taking up this position against the communist country was fraught with unpredictable consequences. Answering a question on whether Japan should take tougher measures against North Korea to break the deadlock in the stalled six-nation talks over the controversial nuclear programs, Junichiro Koizumi said: "Sanctions could have a certain influence, but also could not." Koizumi said trade between North Korea and Japan, which have had difficult relations in the past, had declined in the past few years, whereas North Korea's trade with China and South Korea had increased. "It is necessary to take into account international realities," he added. North Korea has been urging Japan to use its influence with the United States to secure the latter's lifting of sanctions against the country, saying it would not return to the negotiating table of the six-party talks involving both Koreas, China, Japan, the United States and Russia, while the sanctions were in effect. Washington imposed financial sanctions on several North Korean companies for allegedly being involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and on a Macao-based bank suspected in the distribution of false 100-dollar banknotes allegedly made in North Korea. The six-party negotiations began in August 2003 in a bid to persuade North Korea to give up its self-professed nuclear ambitions. The fourth round started in Beijing in July 2005 after about a year's hiatus. The delegations agreed on the greater part of a final agreement, but failed to reach a consensus on some matters of principle and the talks were put on hold August 7 to give the delegates time to look for acceptable solutions. At the latest round of talks in September, North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for aid and security guarantees, but later refused to return to the negotiating table until Washington lifted financial sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for its alleged involvement in counterfeiting and other illegal activities. The six countries agreed in November 2005 to meet early this year to try to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs, but the talks were thrown into doubt after North Korea reacted angrily to Washington's imposition of sanctions. In early January, North Korea said it would not return to the negotiating table while the sanctions were in effect. Washington said the sanctions had no relation to the talks.
Print Japan's prime minister cautioned against imposing sanctions on North Korea in comments on the country's nuclear programs Monday Bookmark Japan's prime minister cautioned against imposing sanctions on North Korea in comments on the country's nuclear programs Monday

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