North Korea threatens to use nuclear weapon to ‘sink’ Japan

A handout photo made available by South Korea's Defense Ministry shows a F-15K fighter jet carrying a Taurus missile (in green) during the first live-fire drill of the missile in Taean, South Chungcheong Province, South Korea, on Wednesday. (EPA photo)

TOKYO: North Korea threatened to use a nuclear weapon against Japan, further escalating tensions in North Asia after being hit with fresh United Nations sanctions earlier this week.

“Japan is no longer needed to exist near us,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said on Thursday, citing a statement by the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee. “The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche,” it said, a reference to the regime’s ideology of self-reliance.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the comments, which sent the Korean won lower, “extremely provocative”.

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