North Korea has warned Japan that joining the West in criticizing their nuclear missiles program means ‘imminent self-destruction’, as Tokyo moves to increase it’s military budget.
Tension between North Korea and the rest of the world has soared after Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan under the supervision of an overjoyed Kim Jong-Un.
Today, as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with his UK counterpart Theresa May, his defence ministry said it will request a record £37 billion annual budget to beef up its missile defence.
Threats: Kim Jong-Un, pictured during a military weapons display, has been defiant following his launch of a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday
Warning: Japan’s response to North Korea’s missile test has seemingly angered Pyongyang, who warned that siding with the U.S. would lead to ‘imminent self-destruction’
Dear-anged Leader: Kim Jong-un viewed the launch of the long-range ballistic missile test which flew 1,700 miles over Japan in person
Japan’s response to the missile test, which set off global alarms and forced the population of the northern island of Hokkaido to run for shelter, has seemingly angered Pyongyang.
The North’s official KCNA news agency decried the former colonial power in a commentary, saying: ‘Japan has now come out with its sleeves rolled up in supporting its master’s anti-DPRK war moves.’
The allies’ ‘military nexus’ had become a ‘serious threat’ to the Korean peninsula and Japan was ‘unaware’ it was ‘accelerating self-destruction’, the statement late Wednesday said.
It made a specific reference to US forces being based in Hokkaido – the island that the North’s missile flew over.
‘The DPRK’s toughest countermeasures include a warning to Japan going wild, being unaware of its imminent destruction,’ and blindly following the US, it added.
Warmongering: In this image from a North Korean government news bulletin, Kim Jong Un looks up at the sky at what is said to have been a missile launch on Tuesday
Celebrating: A new stamp issued in North Korea following the successful second test launch of the ‘Hwasong-14’ intercontinental ballistic missile
Pure brainwashing: The new stamps were issued to ‘commemorate’ the missile launch
Japan’s defence ministry has today announced that it is asking for 5.26 trillion yen (£37 billion) for the fiscal year through March 2019.
That follows on five straight years of budgetary increases as territorial tensions with China also aggravate Japan’s security concerns.
The current proposal calls for spending on new SM-3 Block IIA interceptors – developed jointly with the US – to counter potential attacks by simultaneous missile launches, as well as a next-generation early-warning and radar system.
Adopting a land-based Aegis missile defence scheme to complement Japan’s sea-based system is also included in the multi-billion-dollar budget request.
Discussions: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Theresa May on Thusday as Japan’s defence ministry requested a record £37 billion budget to increase missile defence
Mrs May reviews an honor guard with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, on board the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s helicopter carrier Izumo at Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo
Mrs May, meets British and Japanese naval personnel on board the helicopter carrier
The previous year’s defence budget amount was 5.13 trillion yen, meaning the current request is for a 2.5 percent rise.
This comes as Japan and the UK are set to pledge closer cooperation on defence, cyber security and counter-terrorism as Prime Minster Theresa May looks to strengthen relations with one of her closest allies ahead of Brexit.
North Korea is expected to feature heavily in talks which will see May and Prime Minister Abe agree a joint declaration on security cooperation.
This will include plans for British soldiers to take part in military exercises on Japanese soil and for collaboration to address the threat of cyber and militant attacks when Japan hosts the Olympics in 2020.
North Koreans watched footage of Monday’s missile test 24 hours after the rest of the world
Footage of the missile was shown in Pyongyang to groups of people, pictured
The dictator was pictured laughing with top officials as the Hwasong-12 was unleashed on Tuesday and later warned the launch was a mere ‘curtain raiser’
MORE SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA, SAYS MRS MAY
Britain and Japan will step up the pace of sanctions against nuclear-armed North Korea after its ‘outrageous’ firing of a missile over Japan, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday.
‘We condemn North Korea in the strongest words possible for a reckless act which was a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions,’ May told a press briefing during an official visit to Japan.
‘In response to this illegal action, Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe and I had agreed to work together and with others in the international community to strengthen pressure against North Korea including by increasing the pace of sanctions.’
Outraged: Prime Minister Theresa May has urged China to step up and use their leverage as an ally of North Korea to put pressure on Pyongyang
Britain wants new United Nations sanctions against North Korea that would target guest workers sent mostly to Russia and China, and whose wages are a source of revenue for Pyongyang.
Last week, Japan expanded its own sanctions against the North, after a similar US move.
May pointed to the key role China plays as the North’s chief ally.
‘Now we need to ensure it’s not just words of condemnation, but that action is taken, and China does have a particular position in this,’ May said.
‘They have leverage on North Korea, and I believe we should be encouraging China to exercise that leverage.’
Earlier Thursday, Beijing slammed a report that suggested the US, Japan and Britain were planning fresh punitive measures against the North, saying calls for sanctions were ‘destructive’ and that those measures alone ‘cannot fundamentally resolve the issue’.
May’s comments come after she attended Japan’s top security meeting Thursday, reportedly only the second foreign leader to attend a meeting of the National Security Council after Australia’s then-prime minister Tony Abbott in 2014.
The Council, which was created at the end of 2013, consists of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and key ministers.
Kim Jong-un was there in person to oversee the launch of North Korea’s latest long-range ballistic missile test which flew 1,700 miles over Japan.
The dictator was pictured laughing with top officials as the Hwasong-12 was unleashed on Tuesday and later warned the launch was a mere ‘curtain raiser’.
State media boasted that the test was timed to mark the 107th anniversary of the ‘disgraceful’ Japan-Korea treaty of 1910, under which Tokyo colonised the Korean peninsula.
It was part of ‘a bold plan to make the cruel Japanese islanders insensible on bloody August 29’, the KCNA agency said, adding that the test was a ‘meaningful prelude to containing Guam’, the US Pacific base.
Yesterday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned America will not allow North Korea’s lawlessness to continue adding it is time for Pyongyang to recognise the ‘danger they are putting themselves in’ as the world is united against them.
Monday’s missile test has caused a dramatic increase in tension in the region
South Korean army soldiers work near K-9 self-propelled howitzers during a military exercise in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea yesterday
US President Donald Trump has said that ‘all options’ were on the table, reviving his implied threat of pre-emptive US military action just days after congratulating himself that Kim appeared to be ‘starting to respect us’.
In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged Washington not to use force against North Korea, as tensions surged after the latest missile test by Pyongyang.
GAME OVER: SOUTH KOREA-U.S. DRILL END
Seoul and Washington wrapped up their annual war games on Thursday, the South’s defence ministry said, with tensions high after Pyongyang’s latest missile launch over Japan.
Tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops took part in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) joint military drills, a largely computer-simulated exercise that ran for two weeks in the South.
The annual drills are viewed by nuclear-armed Pyongyang as a highly provocative rehearsal for invasion, and it always meets them with threats of strong military counteraction.
The joint exercises began as North Korea and the US engaged in a war of words, which included President Donald Trump’s apocalyptic warning to rain ‘fire and fury’ on Pyongyang.
North Korea responded by threatening to launch a salvo of missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam – a plan from which it later appeared to back off.
Tuesday’s missile was called ‘a part of the muscle-flexing’ against the war games by North Korean state media.
In a phone call late Wednesday with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Lavrov ‘underscored…the need to refrain from any military steps that could have unpredictable consequences,’ the foreign ministry in Moscow said.
Russia’s lead diplomat said any attempts to toughen sanctions against North Korea would be ‘counterproductive and dangerous’ while condemning Pyongyang’s shooting of a missile over Japan as a ‘gross violation’ of United Nations resolutions.
The UN Security Council – which has already imposed seven sets of sanctions on Pyongyang – said in a unanimous statement the North’s actions ‘are not just a threat to the region, but to all UN member states’.
Both the North’s key ally China and Russia, which also has ties to it, backed the US-drafted declaration, but it will not immediately lead to new or tightened measures against Pyongyang.
The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the mouthpiece of the North’s ruling party, on Wednesday carried more than 20 pictures of the launch near Pyongyang.
One showing Kim smiling broadly at a desk with a map of the Northwest Pacific, surrounded by aides.
Another showed him gazing upwards as the missile rose into the air.
The official Korean Central News Agency cited Kim as saying that ‘more ballistic rocket launching drills with the Pacific as a target in the future’ were necessary.
Tuesday’s launch was a ‘meaningful prelude to containing Guam, advanced base of invasion’, he said, and a ‘curtain-raiser’ for the North’s ‘resolute countermeasures’ against ongoing US-South Korean military exercises which the North regards as a rehearsal for invasion.
Wednesday’s statement was the first time the North has acknowledged sending a missile over Japan’s main islands. Two of its rockets previously did so, in 1998 and 2009, but on both occasions it claimed they were space launch vehicles.