Japan Vows 'Hard and Decisive Response' to N Korea's Rocket Launch

© REUTERS / KCNAA North Korean long-range rocket is launched into the air at the Sohae rocket launch site in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang February 7, 2016.
A North Korean long-range rocket is launched into the air at the Sohae rocket launch site in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang February 7, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Tokyo will give "a hard and decisive response" to Pyongyang's rocket test, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

TOKYO (Sputnik) — Japan will tighten unilateral sanctions against North Korea, after Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday.

"The consideration of specifics is underway actively, North Korea will be given a hard and decisive response," Abe said on the issue of unilateral sanctions, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

South Korean soldier stands guard in front of loudspeakers as the military prepares propaganda broadcasts near the border area between South Korea and North Korea in Yeoncheon, northeast of Seoul, on January 8, 2016 - Sputnik International
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On Sunday, North Korea fired a long-range rocket, defying a UN Security Council resolution which bans Pyongyang from launching rockets that may be used as ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Japan’s National Security Council held a meeting shortly after the incident, as the rocket flew over Japan’s Okinawa prefecture.

Following the reports about North Korea’s rocket launch, Abe's office said that Japan, in close cooperation with the international community, would not hesitate to take measures against North Korea.

Later that day, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that Tokyo had begun considering its own sanctions over the incident.

Tokyo imposed several rounds of unilateral sanctions, including a trade embargo, against North Korea over its abduction of Japanese citizens.

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