North Korea made an explicit threat to use a nuclear weapon to sink Japan, in remarks that further cranks up heightened tensions in North Asia.
“The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche,” North Korea’s state-run news said Thursday, citing a statement by a spokesman for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee that referred to the country’s philosophy of self-reliance. “Japan is no longer needed to exist near us.”
Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s top government spokesman, told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday that North Korea’s latest threat was an abominable provocation.
In late August, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over northern Japan, in a move that the Korean Central News Agency said was part of “muscle-flexing” to protest annual military exercises being held between the U.S. and South Korea.
Leader Kim Jong Un said that test was a “meaningful prelude” to containing Guam. The isolated state has previous threatened to launch rockets over Japan toward the U.S. territory in the Pacific.
“A telling blow should be dealt to them who have not yet come to senses after the launch of our ICBM over the Japanese archipelago,” said the spokesman, whose committee is an affiliate of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the previous launch “an unprecedented, grave and serious threat,” while Trump reiterated that “all options” are under consideration in response to Pyongyang’s actions.0