North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes have been the top security concern of Japan. Japan expects that the upcoming summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un will create another milestone towards “a complete, verifiable an irreversible dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile of all range by North Korea”.
Japan’s stand is more ambitious than that of the US as Japan is also concerned over other weapons of mass destruction such as biological and chemical weapons and missile programmes with all ranges. North Korea reportedly possesses ballistic missiles that can reach the region and beyond such as Hwasong-12 which could reach approximately 5,000 km, Hwasong-14 that could reach more than 5,500 km, and Hwasong-15 that could reach more than 10,000 km.
Moreover, Japan has called for the release of all Japanese abductees. In his address at the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that, “We will bring about the return of all Japanese abductees. I am determined to make this a reality”.
Japan expects a full and expeditious implementation of the Joint Statement between the United States and North Korea, which includes the commitment towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
Senior official from the Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Khmer Times that, “Since June 2018, there was no substantial progress over denuclearisation”. Therefore, maintaining international sanctions and pressures is essential to force North Korea to genuinely implement what it has promised.
The United Nations Security Council has adopted a series of resolutions on North Korea. In August 2017, the UNSCR 2371 bans on imports from North Korea of coal, iron and iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore, and imposes restrictions on work authorisations for North Korean nationals.
In September 2017, the UNSCR 2375 imposes restrictions on supply to North Korea of crude oil and refined petroleum products and bans on supply to North Korea of condensate and natural gas, and textiles.
In December 2017, the UNSCR 2397 strengthens restriction on supplies to North Korea of crude oil and refined petroleum products, industrial machinery, transportation vehicles, and iron, steel and other metals, bans on import from North Korea of food and agricultural products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stone, wood and vessels, and repatriates all North Korean workers before the end of 2019.