North Korea threat is ‘critical, imminent’: Japan

Washington: Japan’s Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera on Monday reportedly said that the threat from North Korea is both “unprecedented” and “imminent”.

The Defence Minister pressed for “different responses” as he spoke with South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis, according to a foreign news agency.

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Onodera, speaking during the discussions in the Philippines said, “The country has steadfastly improved its nuclear and missile capability,” adding, “the threat posed by North Korea has grown to the unprecedented, critical and imminent level.”

Meanwhile, the CNN reports that more than a dozen African nations have done business with North Korea despite sanctions by the United Nations.

The report mentioned that across Africa from Windhoek to Gaborone, from Luanda to Dakar, the governments have quietly been signing deals with the North Korean state for years.

A monument named Heroes’ Acre statue in Namibia was built by a North Korean firm Mansudae, a North Korean state-owned enterprise and a cash cow for the rogue regime.

The coordinator of the U.N. Panel of Experts on North Korea, Hugh Griffiths, said, “This money is highly significant.”

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“We are looking at at least 14 African (UN) member states where Mansudae alone was running quite large construction operations — building everything from ammunition factories, to presidential palaces, to apartment blocks,” he added.

The U.N. has imposed strict economic sanctions against the country in retaliation for continuing its weapons development programme.

North Korea in July conducted two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests and said last month that it had successfully tested a miniaturised hydrogen bomb that could be placed on an ICBM.


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