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North Korea threatens Japan with ‘destruction’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Pedestrians watch the news on a huge screen displaying a map of Japan (R) and the Korean Peninsula, in Tokyo, Japan, on August 29, 2017, following the firing of a North Korean missile that flew over Japan. (Photo by AFP)

North Korea has threatened Japan with destruction for siding with the United States shortly after Pyongyang fired a missile that flew over Japan.

An article on North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday warned Japan of “imminent self-destruction.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had earlier denounced the launch of the North Korean missile over Japan as an “unprecedented, serious and grave threat,” and agreed with US President Donald Trump to “further strengthen pressure against North Korea.”

“Japan has now come out with its sleeves rolled up in supporting its master’s anti-DPRK war moves,” the news agency said, using the abbreviation for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name. “The DPRK’s toughest countermeasures include a warning to Japan going wild, being unaware of its imminent destruction.”

The article further said that the “military nexus” between Japan and the US had become a “serious threat” to the Korean Peninsula after the deployment of US troops to northern Japan and that Tokyo was “unaware” it was “accelerating self-destruction.”

North Korea on Tuesday fired a Hwasong-12 missile — reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear payload — that traveled nearly 2,700 kilometers into the Pacific and triggered alert warnings as it flew over northern Japan.

This picture, taken on August 29, 2017, shows North Korea’s intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 lifting off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang. (Via AFP)

The launch sparked angry reactions from Japan and the United States, as well as calls for restraint by other countries. The move also prompted a United Nations Security Council emergency session at the request of Washington and Tokyo and a subsequent resolution that condemned the launch.

The 15-member Council unanimously called on Pyongyang to halt its missile and nuclear programs.

Following the North Korean launch, US President Trump said that “all options” were on the table when it comes to dealing with North Korea.

Tensions have been running high between North Korea, which is continuing to develop its missile and nuclear programs, and the US, which is opposed to those programs.

Pyongyang says it will not give up on its missile and nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward the country and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.

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