Japan plans to lodge a protest against North Korea over its suspension of talks on the fate of citizens kidnapped by the Pyongyang regime after a raid against pro-North Korean residents.
“We cannot accept this announcement by North Korea,” Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida told reporters in Tokyo yesterday. “We will make a swift and appropriate protest.”
Japanese police searched the Tokyo home of the chairman of Chongryon, a pro-North Korea organization, and arrested two others over the suspected import of North Korean mushrooms in violation of trade sanctions, Kyodo News reported on Thursday.
North Korea yesterday sent Japan a letter condemning the raid, the official Korean Central News Agency said.
The announcement came two days after Kishida said Japan would extend some sanctions against North Korea after talks on the fate of kidnapped Japanese failed to produce results. North Korea admitted in 2002 to abducting 13 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to train its spies.
North Korea remains under a separate set of sanctions imposed by the UN for its nuclear tests.
Other sanctions due to expire this month were extended for two years, Kishida said on Tuesday. They include barring North Korean ships from entering Japanese ports and maintaining limits on trade with the country.
North Korea returned five of the kidnapping victims in 2002, saying the others were dead. Japan has never accepted that explanation. Some Japanese citizens groups estimate the number of abductees in the hundreds.
North Korea in July last year agreed to conduct a new investigation in return for Japan easing some sanctions. So far the new probe has failed to produce results.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with some of the victims’ families yesterday. He told reporters after the meeting that North Korea’s actions were unacceptable and Japan would employ “dialogue and pressure” on the isolated nation.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of
The Philippine army chief yesterday expressed outrage over the fatal police shooting of four soldiers, including two officers, and demanded justice, as both sides provided contrasting accounts of the killings. Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ano, a retired military chief of staff who now oversees the national police, ordered that the police involved in Monday’s violence in Jolo in Sulu Province be disarmed and restricted for investigation. Police said the soldiers were killed in a “misencounter” with a group of police officers. The army said that the two officers and two enlisted men were on a mission against