TOKYO -- Japan's prime minister said Thursday that North Korea could face new sanctions if it goes ahead with its planned rocket launch next month.
Prime Minister Taro Aso told lawmakers that Japan was scheduling meetings with the United States and other nations as it prepares a response for the scheduled April 4 launch.
''We will make a comprehensive decision with an eye to enhancing sanctions,'' Aso told the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors.
North Korea says it will launch a satellite into space on April 4. However, Japan is suspicious it is actually test launch of a nuclear missile that will encroach on Japanese territory.
The Kyodo news agency said Japan has already made its displeasure clear to North Korea through its embassy in China, and was seeking high-level meetings with Britain, South Korea and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
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