N. Korea slams Japan's threat to strike missile bases

SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea blasted Japan's defense minister Monday for threatening to attack its missile bases, claiming such comments reveal Tokyo's plot to become a military power.

The denunciation carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) followed a statement by Itsunori Onodera that hinted at taking tough military action at the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee held in Tokyo on Oct. 3.

The North's official news wire service said the minister hinted at considering a strike against missile bases during talks with his U.S. counterpart earlier this month.

"The ludicrous statement made by Onodera showcases Tokyo's dark plan to take advantage of the anti-North Korean policy espoused by Washington to become a military power," the media outlet said.

The KCNA also said that Japan is using Washington's so-called pivot toward the Asia-Pacific and exaggerating North Korea's missile and nuclear threat to lay the legal and material foundation to become a militarist country.

Pyongyang, like many Asian countries, is wary of any attempts by Japan to build up its arms since the island nation invaded large parts of Asia before and during World War II. The Korean Peninsula was a colony of Japan for 36 years in the first half of the 20th century.

The KCNA, meanwhile, claimed it is becoming apparent that Japan is poised to start another Asian war and that every effort must be made to thwart such a plan.

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