Japan extends trade sanctions on North Korea

Japan's cabinet on Tuesday approved an extension of trade sanctions imposed on North Korea after its atomic test. The Japanese decision to prolong the sanctions by six months comes amid concerns that North Korea will fail to meet a weekend deadline to close the reactor because of a dispute over funds frozen in a Macau bank. On Monday, American nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill said the financial problem would be a stumbling block for the closure. The sanctions the Japanese government extended Tuesday were enacted independently of measures adopted by the UN Security Council against North Korea after the October nuclear test, Cabinet Office spokeswoman Miwako Fujishige said. Japan's sanctions include closing ports to North Korean ships and banning the import of North Korean goods.