In late August, North Korea completed what the NY Times calls “one of the most provocative missile tests in recent years.” The test included a ballistic missile that was shot directly over Japan.
The missile flew over Hokkaido before it landed in the sea. While the intention may not have been to harm Japan, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was clear with his implications.
When the missile flew over, the Japanese government warned residents to take cover. Additionally, train lines were stopped and public television programs were halted with a warning announcing the potential attack.
Reportedly, this was only the third North Korean object to fly over the country since 1998. The missile that flew over Japan appeared to be of the same type of the one North Korea threatened Guam with. Kim Jong Un had previously said that the intermediate-range missile could target bases from America, South Korea, or Japan.
Now, North Korean threats are intensifying. Cited in Thursday’s edition of North Korea’s state-run news, KCNA, a spokesman for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee harshly reacted against the U.S. and the UNSC “sanctions resolution.”
The statement said that the DPRK is “unanimously demanding” for the "Yankees’" brutal deaths. It said that the hope is to “reduce the U.S. mainland into ashes and darkness.”
Then, the statement turned to Japan. The reporter said that they have been unhappy with the support Japan gave the U.S. with the sanctions deal and that they should “not be pardoned.”
It said, “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. The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche.”
The statement said that the Korean army and people are enraged, and will stop at virtually nothing. It then added a chilling, “Japan is no longer needed to exist near us.”
While North Korea has made extreme threats before, especially through their media channels, this particular one brings reasonable alarm due to its timing. Now, eyes are on President Trump to see if these threats against Japan will spark a reaction in him.
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