Fri, Sep 15, 2017 - Page 6 News List

North Korea state agency threatens to ‘sink’ Japan

STRONG LANGUAGE:The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said the Security Council was a ‘tool of evil.’ A Japanese official said the threats were ‘unacceptable’

Reuters, SEOUL and JAPAN

A North Korean state agency yesterday threatened 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.

The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which handles the North’s external ties and propaganda, also called for the breakup of the UN Security Council, which it called “a tool of evil” made up of “money-bribed” 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 official Korean Central News Agency.

Juche is the North’s ideology that mixes Marxism and an extreme form of go-it-alone nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un.

The 15-member Security Council voted unanimously on a US-drafted resolution and a new round of sanctions on Monday after Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful,nuclear test on Sept. 3.

The sanctions ban North Korea’s textile exports that are the second-largest only to coal and minerals, and capped fuel supplies.

“Let’s reduce the US mainland into ashes and darkness. Let’s vent our spite with mobilization of all retaliation means which have been prepared till now,” the North Korean statement said.

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.

It also referred to South Korea as “traitors and dogs” of the US.

Japan harshly criticized the 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 told reporters.

The North rejected the new resolution.

Despite the North’s threats, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he was against having nuclear weapons in his country, either by developing its own arsenal or bringing back US tactical nuclear weapons that were withdrawn in the early 1990s.

“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 CNN.

The South Korean Unification Ministry also said it planned to provide US$8 million 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 last year and is based on a longstanding policy of separating humanitarian aid from politics, the ministry said.

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