Despite North Korea's threats of war, Japan reiterated its support of U.N.-mandated sanctions against the government in the ongoing nuclear standoff. The statement followed a report by the New York Times today that indicated Japan had backed away from a direct confrontation with Pyongyang. The U.S. emphasized that Russia was also behind the sanctions. Even wavering China would likely abstain from voting rather than nullify sanctions, according to Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Amid this diplomatic jockeying, former President Jimmy Carter reportedly will be heading to North Korea on what is billed as a private trip next week.