North Korean threat to sink Japan
• State agency also condemns US over UN resolution and sanctions
A North Korean state agency threatened on Thursday to use nuclear weapons to sink Japan and reduce the US to “ashes and darkness” for supporting a UN Security Council resolution and sanctions over its latest nuclear test.
A North Korean state agency threatened on Thursday to use nuclear weapons to sink Japan and reduce the US to “ashes and darkness” for supporting a UN Security Council resolution and sanctions regarding its latest nuclear test.
The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which handles the North’s external ties and propaganda, also called for the dissolution of the Security Council, which it called “a tool of evil” made up of “moneybribed” countries that move at the order of the US.
“The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us,” the committee said in a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency.
Juche is the North’s ruling ideology that mixes Marxism and an extreme form of go-italone nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.
Regional tension has risen markedly since the reclusive North conducted its sixth, and by far its most powerful, nuclear test on September 3, following a series of missile tests including of one that flew over Japan.
The 15-member Security Council voted unanimously on a US-drafted resolution and a new round of sanctions on Monday in response, banning North Korea’s textile exports, the secondlargest only to coal and minerals, and capping fuel supplies.
The North reacted to the latest action by the Security Council, which had the backing of veto-holding China and Russia, by reiterating threats to destroy the US, Japan and South Korea.
“Let’s reduce the US mainland into ashes and darkness. Let’s vent our spite with mobilisation of all retaliation means, which have been prepared until now,” the statement said.
Japan’s Nikkei stock index and dollar/yen currency pared gains, although traders said that
was more because of several Chinese economic indicators that were released on Thursday than a reaction to the North’s latest statement.
South Korea’s won also
edged down at about the same time over financial concerns.
Despite the North’s threats, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that he was opposed to having nuclear weapons in
his country. “To respond to North Korea by having our own nuclear weapons will not maintain peace on the Korean peninsula and could lead to a nuclear arms race in Northeast Asia,”
Moon said in an interview with TV channel CNN.
South Korea’s unification ministry also said it planned to provide $8m through the UN World Food Programme and Unicef to help infants and pregnant women in the North.
The move marks Seoul’s first humanitarian assistance for the North since its fourth nuclear test in January 2016 and is based on a longstanding policy of separating humanitarian aid from politics, the ministry said.
DANCING TO THE TUNE
The North’s latest threats also singled out Japan for “dancing to the tune” of the US, saying it should never be pardoned for not offering a sincere apology for its “never-to-be-condoned crimes against our people”, an apparent reference to Japan’s wartime aggression.
The North also referred to South Korea as “traitors and dogs” of the US.
Japan’s government harshly criticised the North’s statement. “This announcement is extremely provocative and egregious. It is something that markedly heightens regional tension and is absolutely unacceptable,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visiting India, called for strict enforcement of the UN resolution, saying the world must force a change.
Ban the bomb: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons activists wear masks of US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un while posing with a mock missile in front of the North Korean embassy in Berlin on Wednesday. /