North Korea slams Japan’s military buildup, U.S. flies stealth jets

Article content

SEOUL — North Korea on Tuesday condemned a Japanese military buildup outlined in a new security strategy, calling it dangerous and vowing counteractions, while also warning of another imminent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Japan last week announced its biggest military build-up since World War Two as tension with China and a hostile North Korea, and Russia’s Ukraine invasion, stoke fears of war.

Article content

North Korea’s foreign ministry said Japan had effectively formalized “the capability for preemptive attack” with its new strategy that would bring a “radical” change to East Asia’s security environment.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The ministry also criticized the United States for “conniving and instigating Japan’s rearmament and reinvasion scheme” saying the United States had no right to question North Korea’s defenses.

“The foolish act of Japan seeking to gratify its black-hearted intention, arms buildup for reinvasion, under the pretext of the DPRK’s legitimate exercise of the right to self-defense can never be justified and tolerated,” the official said in a statement carried by the North’s KCNA news agency.

The spokesman referred to North Korea by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea will express its displeasure with action to highlight Japan’s “wrong and very dangerous” decision, the spokesperson said, warning of a “shuddering shiver to be felt soon.”

Advertisement 3

Article content

North Korea has tested an unprecedented number of missiles this year, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) designed to reach the U.S. mainland, in defiance of international sanctions.

Several of the North Korean missiles have flown over Japan, or landed in waters near it, drawing condemnation from the staunch U.S. ally.


In a separate statement, Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, hinted at a technological advance in its ICBM system, and denounced questions over what North Korea said was its bid to develop a spy satellite.

North Korea fired two medium-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Sunday, calling it an “important” test for the development of a reconnaissance satellite that it hopes to complete by April.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Experts have raised doubts over the level of North Korea’s satellite technology but Kim Yo Jong derided them and suggested advances in her country’s missile programs, including ICBM developments.

North Korea has test-fired its ICBMs at a steep angle and analysts say a normal launch angle requires more sophisticated technology to resist heat generated during re-entry into the atmosphere.

“I can clear up their doubt about it,” Kim Yo Jong said. “They will immediately recognize it in case we launch an ICBM in the way of a real angle firing straight off.”

She dismissed any threat of new sanctions.

“At this time when our right to existence and development is being threatened, how can we stop our advance for fear of sanctions that we have experienced abominably, not for the first time,” she said.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Hours after the North’s statements, the U.S. Air Force flew B-52 strategic bombers and F-22 fighter jets to South Korea for joint drills with F-35 and F-15K fighters, in their latest display of force against North Korea.

The participation of the F-22 Raptor fifth generation stealth fighters, currently based in Japan’s Okinawa, was their first since May 2018 when the allies staged joint exercises in South Korea.

A spokesman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff declined to discuss any signs or possibility of another ICBM test, but said it was monitoring the North’s nuclear and missile activities. (Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Stephen Coates and Robert Birsel)



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *