Tokyo: Japan, by working closely with
other major countries, wants to narrow the differences with China over how to address North Korea`s planned rocket launch next month, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said Wednesday.
Gemba, speaking to reporters, expressed hope that China will wield more influence over North Korea to stop it from blasting a satellite into space using a long-range rocket, which is widely seen as a disguise for testing its ballistic missiles.
"It is important to bridge the gap," Gemba said.
Japan and many other countries, including Russia, South
Korea and the United States, have said the North`s planned
launch to mark the centenary of the birth of its founder, Kim
Il Sung, would violate UN Security Council resolutions.
But China -- North Korea`s biggest provider of diplomatic
support and economic aid -- has still been somewhat cautious
about criticizing Pyongyang, although it has voiced concerns
about the launch.
Gemba also said Japan is prepared for "a range" of
options, when asked about the possibility of the international
community imposing additional sanctions on North Korea.
North Korea is already subject to UN sanctions introduced
after its nuclear and long-range missile tests in 2009.