First there was Japan's 'capture' of the Senkakus and the looming troubles that small island will lead to with the Chinese. Then came the economic deflationary spiral, as the global devaluation of developed market currencies prompted Japan to start an aggressive currency war of their own. And now, with North Korea's sabre rattling growing ever louder, Fox News reports that following comments by Japan's Yoshihide Suga on "destroying any missile heading towards Japan," the North Koreans retorted with a threat that Tokyo would be the first target if they decide to play the nuclear card. Luckily, we have John Kerry on the spot, "if Kim Jong Un decides to launch a missile, whether it's across the Sea of Japan or some other direction, he will be choosing willfully to ignore the entire international community," as he weighed in on comments leaked yesterday that North Korea now had the know-how to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead - even if the weapons would lack reliability. Which is worse an unreliable nuclear missile or a reliable one? Though there is a silver lining, since if a broken window creates a Keynesian utopia, just think of the GDP-boosting greatness of a nuclear explosion in the heart of Roppongi.
North Korea reportedly warned Japan that Tokyo would be the first target if Pyongyang decides to play its nuclear card.
"We are doing all we can to protect the safety of our nation," chief Cabinet spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, though he and Ministry of Defense officials refused to confirm the reports about the naval alert, saying they do not want to "show their cards" to North Korea.
Japanese officials long have feared that North Korea not only has the means but several potential motives for launching an attack on Tokyo or major U.S. military installations on Japan’s main island.
Kerry also weighed in on an intelligence report that rocked Washington on Thursday and suggested that North Korea now had the knowhow to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead -- even if the weapons would lack reliability. Citing the Pentagon's assessment, Kerry rejected the finding and said that Pyongyang still hadn't developed or fully tested the nuclear capacities needed for such a step.
Speaking beside Kerry, South Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se called for more United Nations action against Pyongyang if it commits another provocation.
He refused to comment specifically on the U.S. intelligence report, saying only that the North has "high nuclear and missile capabilities" but that it is still some time away from a nuclear bomb that is "small, light and diversified."
"They have to be really serious," Kerry said. "No one is going to talk for the sake of talking and no one is going to play this round-robin game that gets repeated every few years, which is both unnecessary and dangerous."