North Korea’s government vowed to wage war against Japan if Japanese defense forces try to shoot down a missile that the communist nation says will carry a communications satellite.
“Should Japan dare recklessly to intercept the DPRK’s satellite, its army will consider this as the start of Japan’s war of reinvasion more than six decades after the Second World War,” the official Korean Central News Agency said today in an e-mailed statement. North Korea is also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada ordered his forces on March 27 to shoot down any North Korean object entering his country’s airspace and deployed guided-missile units around Tokyo. Japan, along with the U.S., China, South Korea and Russia want to forestall North Korea’s plans to launch what the government in Pyongyang calls a “peaceful” satellite, and refocus on joint efforts to end its nuclear program.
“Bellicose rhetoric is not helpful to calming tensions in the region. North Korea needs to desist from this rhetoric,” U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.
North Korea accuses Japan of using the missile launch, scheduled to take place between April 4 and 8, as a pretext to build its own nuclear arsenal. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on March 29 called the launch “a mask” for development of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
“The primary aim sought by Japan through this is to bring the six-party talks to collapse and delay the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and thus justify its ambition for nuclear weaponization,” according to the KCNA statement.