February 5, 2023

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North Korea criticizes Japan’s new security strategy and warns of military measures

North Korea criticizes Japan's new security strategy and warns of military measures

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea on Tuesday denounced Japan’s new security strategy as fundamentally changing the regional security environment and warned that it would show how “wrong” and “dangerous” Japan’s choice was with unspecified measures, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman made the remarks in a statement carried by the KCNA, days after Japan unveiled its largest military build-up since World War II, as regional tension and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stoked war fears.

“Japan is bringing about a serious security crisis in the Korean Peninsula and the East Asian region by adopting a new security strategy that actively recognizes its preventive offensive capabilities against other countries,” the official said in the statement.

The official said the security environment in the region had “fundamentally changed” due to Japan’s new policy, and denounced the move as a violation of the United Nations Charter and a “serious challenge” to international peace.

“We make it clear once again that we have the right to take bold and decisive military action to protect our basic rights … in response to the complex regional security environment,” the official said.

“Japan will soon learn with a shudder that it has made a very wrong and dangerous decision.”

Tokyo’s comprehensive five-year plan, which would have been unthinkable in a peaceful Japan, would make it the world’s third largest military spending after the United States and China, based on current budgets.

(Reporting by Soo Hyang Choi; Editing by Tom Hogg and Kenneth Maxwell)

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