N Korea threat­ens to ‘sink’ Ja­pan, re­duce US to ‘ashes’

Today - - WORLD | NEWS -

SEOUL — North Korea yes­ter­day threat­ened to use a nu­clear weapon against Ja­pan and turn the United States into “ashes and dark­ness” for pass­ing fresh United Na­tions sanc­tions ear­lier this week — fiery rhetoric that is likely to ex­ac­er­bate ten­sions in North Asia.

“Ja­pan is no longer needed to ex­ist near us,” said the state-run Korean Cen­tral News Agency yes­ter­day, cit­ing a state­ment by the Korea Asia-Pa­cific Peace Com­mit­tee, an af­fil­i­ate of the rul­ing Work­ers’ Party that han­dles the North’s ex­ter­nal ties and pro­pa­ganda.

“The four is­lands of the ar­chi­pel­ago should be sunk into the sea by the nu­clear bomb of Juche,” it said, a ref­er­ence to the North’s rul­ing ide­ol­ogy that mixes Marx­ism and an ex­treme form of go-it-alone na­tion­al­ism.

Ja­panese Chief Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga called the com­ments, which sent the Korean won lower, “ex­tremely provoca­tive”.

“It is some­thing that markedly height­ens re­gional ten­sion and is ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able,” Mr Suga told re­porters in Tokyo.

“If North Korea stays the course that it is on, it will in­creas­ingly be­come iso­lated from the world. Through im­ple­ment­ing the new United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion and re­lated agree­ments, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity as a whole needs to max­imise pres­sure on North Korea so that it will change its pol­icy.”

The lat­est UN sanc­tions fol­low North Korea’s sixth and most pow­er­ful nu­clear test ear­lier this month. Late last month, the regime launched a bal­lis­tic mis­sile over north­ern Ja­pan in what it said was “mus­cle-flex­ing” to protest an­nual mil­i­tary drills be­tween the United States and South Korea.

Leader Kim Jong-un called it a

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.