Japan announced fresh sanctions Wednesday against North Korea for Sunday’s rocket launch, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Pyongyang’s rocket launch has been seen by world powers as a disguise for developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that can deliver a nuclear bomb.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan will expand restrictions on travel between the two Asian countries and also a complete ban on visits by North Korean ships to Japanese ports, the AP reported. He added that sanctions would be approved by the cabinet later, and would also call for legislative changes in parliament.
Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, South Korea announced that it would suspend operations at a joint industrial park with North Korea following the rocket launch. The joint work at Kaesong industrial park is the last remaining sign of inter-Korean diplomacy.
"Despite our efforts to support the Kaesong complex, the factory zone is seen as being used for North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles," Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo said, according to Yonhap News Agency. "We've decided to halt the operation of the Kaesong complex to prevent South Korean money from being funneled into the North's nuke and missile developments and to protect our companies."
The park, which started operations in 2005, has provided 616 billion won ($560 million) to the country led by Kim Jong Un, the minister reportedly said. The South Korean government will provide financial compensation to companies that operate at Kaesong, Hong said. It will begin recalling South Korean workers from the park Thursday.