Japan to extend North Korea sanctions - Kyodo

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TOKYO, Sep 30 (Reuters) Japan plans to extend economic sanctions against North Korea for another six months after current measures expire in mid-October, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura was quoted as saying today.

''We are not in a situation in which we can stop or ease off on this,'' Kyodo news agency quoted him as telling reporters.

Japan is taking part in protracted six-country talks in Beijing aimed at coaxing North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions.

At the same time, Tokyo is determined not to relax its own pressure on the impoverished Stalinist regime until Pyongyang comes clean on the fate of a number of Japanese citizens abducted by its agents decades ago.

REUTERS SZ BD0843

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