The firing of an intermediate-range ballistic missile earlier this month was a message to “enemies,” Pyongyang says
Tokyo will “pay a high price” if alleged persecution of Korean nationals living in Japan continues, North Korea has warned its neighbor.
Pyongyang views the “oppression” of North Koreans in Japan as a challenge to its dignity and sovereignty, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) pointed out on Wednesday.
According to South Korean news outlet Yonhap, the statement apparently referred to reports of an increase in hate crimes against students at schools across Japan for ethnic Koreans.
“We’ve solemnly stated that the October 4 firing of a new type of a ground-to-ground intermediate-range ballistic missile is a warning to our enemies,” KCNA said.
“Whether this warning will lead to actual results will depend on the attitudes of hostile forces, including Japan,” it pointed out, adding that Tokyo will “pay a high price” for actions aimed against North Korea.
On October 4, Pyongyang carried out yet another of its tests this year of banned missile technology, firing its Hwasong-12 ballistic missile into the Pacific Ocean. The projectile flew over Japan, prompting a warning for residents to seek shelter, and ended up covering 4,500 kilometers, which appears to be the farthest to date that any of North Korea’s missiles has traveled.
It was also the first time in five years that Pyongyang sent a missile over Japan, with Tokyo, Seoul and Washington condemning the move.
The leaders of Japan, South Korea and the US met on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia on Sunday, vowing a unified and coordinated response to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
US President Joe Biden insisted that partnership between the three nations was “even more important than it’s ever been,” in view of what he described as a stepping-up of provocations by Pyongyang .