Japan imposes additional sanctions on North Korea

TOKYO—Japan will impose additional sanctions on North Korea by freezing assets of groups involved in missile development, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a regular briefing on Tuesday.

“North Korea’s repeated provocative actions that threaten Japan’s security and international peace and security cannot be tolerated,” Matsuno said.

South Korea’s military said it fired artillery shells from its east and west coasts late Tuesday after Seoul began annual defense drills aimed at improving its ability to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

The Confederate Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement Wednesday that the North had fired about 100 shells into the waters off the west coast around 10 p.m. (1300 GMT) and another 150 from the east coast.

North Korea later said the launch was designed to send a “serious warning” to South Korea in response to it firing dozens of shells between 9:55 a.m. and 5:22 p.m. on Tuesday. said it was.

The Korean People’s Army (KPA) General Staff said South Korea’s “war training against the North is desperately underway.”

“To raise another serious alarm, the East-West Front Unit of the Korean People’s Army fired warning shots into the East-West Sea on the night of the 18th and took strong military countermeasures,” it said in a statement released by state media KCNA.

“The enemy should immediately stop the reckless and provocative acts of provocation that are increasing military tensions on the front lines.”

The Hoguk exercise, which is due to conclude on Saturday, is the latest in a series of military exercises by South Korea in recent weeks involving joint operations with the United States and Japan.