North Korea has accused Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe of mislabeling its latest weapons test, branding him an “imbecile” and “political dwarf”.
The Japanese prime minister condemned North Korea for “repeated launches of ballistic missiles” after two projectiles were fired on November 28.
However, North Korea insisted it was testing a “super-large multiple-rocket launcher”.
On November 30, state media said Japan “may see what a real ballistic missile is in the not distant future”.
North Korea is banned from firing ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions.
It is under various sets of sanctions over its missile and nuclear programs. Lifting the sanctions has been a key aim of North Korea in talks with the US – Japan’s ally – but these have stalled since a summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump broke down in February.
North Korea fired what observers in South Korea called two “unidentified projectiles” from its South Hamgyong province into the Sea of Japan on November 28.North Korea Launches New Ballistic Missile over JapanNorth Korea fired what observers in South Korea called two “unidentified projectiles” from its South Hamgyong province into the Sea of Japan on November 28.
Condemning the launch, PM Shinzo Abe said: “North Korea’s repeated launches of ballistic missiles are a serious defiance to not only our country but also the international community.”
North Korea issued images said to be of Kim Jong-un inspecting the launch.
The KCNA state media said on November 30: “It can be said that Abe is the only one idiot in the world and the most stupid man ever known in history as he fails to distinguish a missile from a multiple launch rocket system while seeing the photo-accompanied report.”
It added: “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.”
Negotiations between North Korea and the US remain stalled since the collapse of February’s summit in Hanoi.
President Trump and Kim Jong-un did meet again in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the Koreas in June and agreed to restart working-level talks.
These began in October, but failed to make any progress.
North Korea has demanded the US change its approach by the end of the year, and was lukewarm in response to a tweet by President Trump hinting at another meeting with Kim Jong-un.
In May, Shinzo Abe said he was ready to meet Kim Jong-un “without conditions”, raising hopes of renewed negotiations on the nuclear issue as well as on the lingering historical issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens.
The Japanese were kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s and 80s to help train its spies. Japan believes 17 citizens were abducted, only five of whom have since been repatriated.
However, PM Abe’s offer has not come to fruition. North Korea said this month that the Japanese leader would never set foot in Pyongyang after he condemned an earlier weapons test.