PYONGYANG – North Korea criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for failing to distinguish Pyongyang’s recent rocket launch from a ballistic missile, warning that Tokyo may see the launch of a real ballistic missile in the near future.
The North test-fired two short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Thursday. The launch was the fourth test of its new “super-large multiple-rocker launcher”. In a reaction to the launch, Abe condemned the test, calling it a threat to Japan and the international community. He also stated that Tokyo would monitor the situation with its partners.
A vice director-general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s Department of Japanese Affairs called Abe “the only one idiot in the world and the most stupid man ever known in history”.
“Abe may see what a real ballistic missile is in the not distant future and under his nose … Abe is none other than a perfect imbecile and a political dwarf without parallel in the world,” the country’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted him as saying on Friday.
He added that Abe was unable to distinguish a missile from multiple launch rocket system “while seeing the photo-accompanied report”. Earlier this month, the North criticized Abe for calling North Korea’s test of “super-large multiple rocket launchers” in late October as likely ballistic missiles.
UN Security Council resolutions have banned Pyongyang from firing ballistic missiles and using such technology. The county test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in November 2017 and conducted a nuclear test in September that year. Several missiles flew toward, or over, Japan until late 2017.
The North, currently under multiple rounds of harsh sanctions by the UN and the United States over its nuclear and missile programs, put a unilateral halt to its missile and nuclear tests shortly before a diplomatic thaw began between Pyongyang and Seoul in early 2018.
Back in April, the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, gave the US until the year’s end to ease sanctions on Pyongyang and stop trying to force an unpalatable denuclearization deal. Officials have recently warned that Pyongyang’s halt on ICBM and nuclear tests was self-imposed and can be reversed. Kim also warned that he will be finding a “new way” if the US continues with its hostile policies.