Less than a day after US officials observed North Korea moving mobile missile launchers and engaging in preparations for what appears to be another missile test, a North Korean state committee has stepped up its belligerent rhetoric, threatening to use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and reduce the US to “ashes and darkness” after the UN Security Council passed new sanctions against the isolated country earlier this week, Reuters reported. The North also accused the US of “cooking up” the latest restrictive measures against it and demanded that the US be beaten “to death as a stick is fit for a rabid dog.
These latest threats follow reports from last night that US satellites had spotted the North’s military moving mobile missile launchers and preparing hard sites for what’s expected to be the country’s fourteenth missile test of 2017. The revelations followed reports of new commercial satellite imagery confirming an earlier analysis identifying numerous landslides throughout the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site on the slopes of Mt. Mantap (and beyond) resulting from North Korea’s sixth nuclear test. The data suggest that the hydrogen bomb test was up to three times more powerful than previously believed.
According to Reuters, North Korea’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which handles the North’s external ties and propaganda, called for the breakup of the security council, which it accused of being “a tool of evil” made up of “money-bribed” countries that move at the order of the US. Then it turned its attention to Japan…
“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 North’s official KCNA news agency." (Juche, as a reminder, is the North’s unique ideology, developed by country founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong Un, which combines elements of Marxism with an emphasis on nationalism and self-reliance).
The committee continued to bash Japan, threatening to deliver “a telling blow” to its regional neighbor and longtime geopolitical foe, according to Bloomberg…
“A telling blow should be dealt to them who have not yet come to senses after the launch of our ICBM over the Japanese archipelago,” a spokesman for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said in Thursday’s KCNA statement. The committee is an affiliate of the ruling Workers’ Party.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the North's comments “extremely provocative.”
“If North Korea stays the course that it is on, it will increasingly become isolated from the world,” Suga told reporters on Thursday in Tokyo. “Through implementing the new United Nations Security Council resolution and related agreements, the international community as a whole needs to maximize pressure on North Korea so that it will change its policy.”
Before turning its attention back to “US imperialists,” threatening to “annihilate”them as if they were “rabid dogs,” according to the Daily Mail.
“In a statement released by news agency KCNA, a spokesman for the regime said: 'The army and people of the DPRK are unanimously demanding that the Yankees, chief culprit in cooking up the "sanctions resolution,” be beaten to death as a stick is fit for a rabid dog.
'There's limit to patience. Now is the time to annihilate the U.S. imperialist aggressors. Let's reduce the U.S. mainland into ashes and darkness.”
The spokesman also called for the country to “vent our spite” by mobilizing all of the “means of retaliation” that the country has at its disposal.
'Let's vent our spite with mobilization of all retaliation means which have been prepared till now. These are voices of the Korean army and people.
The North's missile tests have led analysts to believe that that its Hwasong-14 ICBM is capable of striking most of the US mainland. And it has already been fired over Japan.
According to the Daily Mail, the North claims that the nuclear warhead it tested at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site on Sept. 3 is small enough to fit atop the Hwasong-14 rocket. US and Japanese intelligence confirmed that the North had likely developed a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside the missile. Increased activity around potential underground test sites in the country’s west and south suggest that the North is preparing to carry out still more nuclear tests.
North Korea in late August launched a ballistic missile over northern Japan in what it described as “muscle-flexing” to protest annual military drills between the US and South Korea, which the regime believes are merely dress rehearsals for an invasion. Leader Kim Jong Un called it a “meaningful prelude” to containing Guam, a US territory that the North threatened to strike with a nuclear weapon earlier this summer.
The threat to Japan comes a day after members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party were considering visiting Pyongyang for talks with North Korean leaders.
“In the LDP there are some people seeking dialogue,” independent lawmaker Antonio Inoki told reporters in Tokyo following a trip to the North Korean capital. “There’s a change in atmosphere at the moment” about the need for talks rather than pressure, he said."
Tokyo had criticized the visit, noting that all trips to North Korea by Japanese citizens are discouraged.
While Chinese and Russian leaders have continued to urge the two sides to sit for diplomatic talks, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instead stressed the need for more economic pressure while belittling the possibility of a dialogue. He told the Nikkei this week that Japan was in agreement with the US and South Korea that dialogue would only be possible when North Korea committed to complete and verifiable denuclearization, something which North Korea would never agree to.