NORTH KOREA has warned Japan that Tokyo would be the first target in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula, as it increased threats of an attack.
In a commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the communist country lashed out at Tokyo’s standing orders to destroy any missile heading toward Japan, threatening such actions will result in a nuclear attack against the island nation.
If Japan executes its threat to shoot down any North Korean missile, such a “provocative” intervention would see Tokyo — an enormous conurbation of 30 million people — “consumed in nuclear flames”, KCNA warned.
“Japan is always in the cross-hairs of our revolutionary army and if Japan makes a slightest move, the spark of war will touch Japan first,” the report added.
An official at Japan’s defence ministry said that the country “will take every possible measure to respond to any scenario”, while the US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that a North Korean missile launch would be a “huge mistake”.
“The rhetoric that we are hearing from North Korea is simply unacceptable by any standards,” he told a news conference in Seoul alongside South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se.
“The United States, South Korea and the entire international community… are all united in the fact that North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power,” Kerry added.
“The enemies should know that it is the era of the great Marshal Kim Jong Un, leader of the most powerful country and invincible great Paektusan nation,” KCNA stated.
“The DPRK has won victories in confrontation with the U.S. in spirit and is waging an all-out action with it, with confidence in final victory.”
The torrent of war cries is seen outside Pyongyang as an effort to raise fears and pressure Seoul and Washington into changing their North Korea policies, and to show the North Korean people that their young leader is strong enough to stand up to powerful foes.
South Korea fears Pyongyang could launch now launch multiple missiles after weeks of threats, according to local reports.
Observers believe a launch is most likely in the build-up to Monday’s anniversary of the birth of late founder Kim Il-Sung, for which celebrations are already well under way in Pyongyang.
The Korean Peninsula has “been reduced to the biggest nuclear hotspot in the world”, the North said in more fiery rhetoric today, “making the outbreak of a nuclear war on this land unavoidable.”
The reclusive state is dedicated to “defending the sovereignty and dignity of the country with its own strike mode and means,” it said.
“No force on earth can block the just cause of the army and people of the DPRK,” the chilling message concluded.