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Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Lower House condemns nuke test
Unanimous resolution demands new sanctions
By MASAMI ITO
The Lower House on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution condemning North Korea's nuclear test, calling the action an "outrage" and demanding that the government strengthen its sanctions against Pyongyang.
The Upper House is expected to adopt a similar resolution as early as Wednesday.
"North Korea clearly violated the United Nations resolution, the joint statement issued by the six-party talks and Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration and carried out a second nuclear weapons test," the resolution states.
"This outrage, along with the previous launch of missiles, threatens the peace and stability of the region including our nation, and our government should cooperate with the international community to ensure our nation's security," it says.
Following North Korea's missile launch in April, the government increased and extended sanctions against Pyongyang, banning port calls by North Korean-registered vessels and all imports from the country, and imposing tight regulations on cash remittances and the physical transfer of cash to the North.
In the Lower House resolution, lawmakers demanded further penalties be imposed, urging the government to "take strong action including strengthening sanctions against North Korea."
The lawmakers also said the government "should redouble its diplomatic efforts to seek the understanding and cooperation from the international community to resolve the pending abductee, nuclear and missile issues."
During the chamber's plenary session, Prime Minister Taro Aso condemned the reclusive state for going ahead with the nuclear test and vowed to make efforts so Pyongyang will abandon its nuclear weapons.
"The announcement of North Korea's nuclear test greatly damages the international trend for nuclear disarmament," Aso said. "I strongly protest North Korea's actions and firmly condemn them."
Aso added the government will quickly consider measures against Pyongyang.
"The government will cooperate with the related countries including our ally, the United States, to continue ensuring our nation's security and the safety of our people and will immediately discuss the necessary measures to be taken," he said.