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Japan Said to Plan N. Korea Sanctions

January 25, 1988|United Press International

TOKYO — Japan will impose sanctions on North Korea for its suspected role in the November bombing of a South Korean airliner that killed all 115 aboard, leading Japanese newspapers reported Sunday.

The Daily Yomiuri said the Japanese government will impose a seven-point program of sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions are expected to be announced Tuesday.

Japan will cooperate closely with South Korea to prevent terrorist attacks at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, which open Sept. 17, and limit the entry of North Korean seamen into Japan, the newspapers said.

It also will support the United Nations' expected condemnation of North Korea for its alleged role in the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858.

Past Sanctions

Four of the sanctions will be the same as those imposed on North Korea after the 1983 bombing in Burma that killed several key South Korean Cabinet ministers, Foreign Ministry officials were quoted by the newspaper as saying. South Korean and Burmese authorities blamed the north for that attack.

At the time, the Japanese government forbade contact between its diplomats and those from North Korea in third countries, trips to North Korea by Japanese government officials, entry into Japan of North Korean officials and special chartered flights between the two countries.

Japan has no formal diplomatic relations with North Korea.

The daily Japan Times reported that the government's strict measures were prompted in part by the findings of a top Japanese official who investigated the Korean Air tragedy.

The official interviewed Kim Hyon Hui, 26, a confessed North Korean agent who publicly said she and a male companion planted explosives on the jet in a bid to scuttle the Seoul Olympics.

The flight from Baghdad, Iraq, to Seoul, vanished over the Andaman Sea near Burma Nov. 29. Kim and her companion, Kim Sung Il, 70, got off the plane in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and went to Bahrain. Both were questioned in Bahrain by suspicious police after the plane disappeared.

The elder Kim died of self-induced cyanide poisoning, but the woman survived her suicide attempt and has been in the custody of South Korean officials for a month.

She publicly confessed that the two, as agents for North Korea, planted a bottle of liquid explosive and a detonator aboard the jet before disembarking.

Kim Hyon Hui said she was told her orders came from Kim Jong Il, the son and heir apparent to North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. North Korea has denied any involvement in the bombing.

A Japanese news agency reported Saturday that the young woman would be granted amnesty and freed later this year.

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