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Japan to sanction Russian entities over ‘arms procurement’ from North Korea

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 24,2024

Japan Friday said it will sanction nine Russian entities and one individual over alleged arms procurement from North Korea.

"As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, it is extremely important to take actions in coordination with the international community," top government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi told a news conference in Tokyo.

Tokyo has also targeted two Greek Cypriot firms.

The decision comes amid reports of Pyongyang supplying arms to Moscow amid the war in Ukraine.

"Russian aggression in Ukraine is getting protracted," said Hayashi, adding Japan "strongly denounces" arms transfers to Russia from North Korea, a video transcript of the news conference showed.

Tokyo has frozen assets, including shipping firms and military facilities, of the targeted entities as well as the Russian businessman.

However, Pyongyang has slammed such reports suggesting it was transferring weapons to Russia and said the development of the North Korean defense industry was meant for "war readiness."

Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a senior regime official, said early this month: "The hostile forces are misleading public opinion with a false rumor that the weapon systems produced by the DPRK are 'for export to Russia.'"

"The rumor about arms dealings between the DPRK and Russia, woven with mistaken view and fiction, is the most absurd paradox which is not worth making any evaluation or interpretation," said Kim using DPRK or the Democratic Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.