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A South Korean woman reads The Korean Herald's report on North Korea's launching of missiles. - 


SCOTT JAGOW: Those weren't fireworks over the Sea of Japan. They were missiles, launched by North Korea. The country test-fired a seventh one today, even though the US and other countries got pretty upset about the first six. Japan, in fact, has already announced some limited economic sanctions against North Korea. Jocelyn Ford reports.

JOCELYN FORD: Tokyo won't allow chartered flights, but there aren't many to begin with. And a ferry that travels between the two countries will be docked for six months.

The ferry has been an important way for ethnic Koreans in Japan to deliver cash. Peter Ennis is editor of the Oriental Economist.

PETER ENNIS: There's a lot of money that goes in suitcases, in that illegal fashion.

But Ennis says Japan could do a lot more, for example, by cracking down on the illegal narcotics trade.

ENNIS: If Japan went all out to really, really squeeze the North Koreans it would be very significant, it would hurt a lot.

Today, Japan said it might clamp down on bank remittances.

Tokyo and Washington are also considering pressing the United Nations Security Council for economic sanctions.

For sanctions to be a success, North Korea's top economic partners China and South Korea would have to be on board. In the past they have opposed using economic pressure.

I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.