North Korea on Thursday unleashed an insult-laden diatribe against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling him an “idiot and villain” who should not even dream of setting foot in Pyongyang, and hinted at the possibility of missiles again flying over Japan after Abe criticized a recent weapons test by the North.
In a statement attributed to Song Il Ho, the North Korean ambassador for normalization talks with Japan, the official blasted Abe as reacting “as if a nuclear bomb was dropped on the land of Japan” to what the North described as a test-firing of rocket artillery last week.
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Song also took aim at Abe’s expressed willingness to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying he would be “well-advised not to dream forever of crossing the threshold of Pyongyang,” after insulting the North’s “just measures” for self-defense.
North Korea has said it conducted its third test-firing of a new “super-large” multiple rocket launcher system last week, launches the Defense Ministry in Tokyo assessed as ballistic missiles.
North Korea is banned from the use of ballistic missile technology under United Nations Security Council resolutions, and Abe has repeatedly voiced condemnation over the North’s recent spate of weapons tests, with some deemed as having used such tech.
“Abe is also a rarely ignorant man who dreams of making Japan a military power, failing to distinguish between multiple rocket launchers and missiles, and he is an under-wit as he is only able to say such crude words as ‘provocation,’ ‘outrage,’ ‘violation,’ ‘abduction,’ and ‘pressure,’” Song said in the statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.
“It is too natural that Abe is treated as a poor dog and dwarf that fails to enter the international political arena with the Korean Peninsula as a center,” it said.
In 2017, the North lobbed two intermediate-range missiles over Japan as it underwent a massive expansion in its capabilities, prompting Abe to call the new threat “unprecedented, serious and important.”
Song hinted of a return to such launches in Thursday’s statement.
“Not many years have elapsed since peace settled in the sky above Japan,” he said.
“If the dwarfs persist in provoking the DPRK, seemingly to get the uneasiness and horror with which they trembled when a projectile flew over Japan, the DPRK will do what it wishes to do, indifferent to the island nation.”
DPRK is the acronym for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Asked about the apparent warning that North Korean missiles could soon be again overflying Japan, Defense Minister Taro Kono downplayed the threat.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to address every statement by North Korea, but its series of ballistic missile launches are clear violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a challenge to the international community,” Kono told a televised news conference.
Abe, who has pinned much of his North Korea policy on resolving the decades-old issue of Japanese nationals abducted in the 1970s and ’80s by agents from the country, has also said he is eager to meet Kim “without conditions.” The North, however, has rebuffed these entreaties.
North Korea has been known to hurl crude insults at foreign leaders and those critical of its leadership and policies, and state media routinely spews vitriol at the peninsula’s former colonial rulers, Japan, referring to Japanese in recent years as “heinous devils,” “narrow-minded guys of an island nation” and “island barbarians, the sworn enemy of the Korean nation.”