Japan has announced its intent to extend its sanctions against North Korea for another six months due to North Korea’s “insincere efforts to solve the abduction issue”. The abduction issue mentioned here refers to the 17 Japanese kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s. North Korea acknowledged the kidnapping of 13 of the Japanese citizens and returned 5 of the people in 2002 while claiming that the rest were dead. Japan wants North Korea to account for the 4 missing people as well as address its programs for disarmament.
So far the sanctions, which includes a ban on imports from North Korea, a ban on the entry of North Korean ships to Japanese ports, and a ban of entry of North Korean officials on Japanese soil, seems to have little effect on North Korea’s efforts towards the resolution of the abduction and disarmament issues.