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A North Korean state agency said Thurs­day that Py­ongyang should use nu­clear weapons to “sink” Ja­pan and turn the United States into “ashes and dark­ness” as the coun­try stepped up its threat­en­ing rhetoric in re­ac­tion to new United Na­tions sanc­tions over its nu­clear pro­gram.

“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 Korea Asia-Pa­cific Peace Com­mit­tee said in a state­ment pub­lished by the North’s KCNA news agency.

The Korea Asia-Pa­cific Peace Com­mit­tee is the North’s of­fi­cial pro­pa­ganda arm and is also no­tion­ally re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing ties with in­ter­na­tional part­ners. Juche, which trans­lates as “self-reliance,” is Py­ongyang’s rul­ing ide­ol­ogy. It’s a blend of Marx­ism and hy­per­na­tion­al­ism and is the brain­child of leader Kim Jong Un’s late grand­fa­ther, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s first president who led the coun­try un­til his death in 1994.

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