Abe refutes Trump on North Korea, Kim accuses Japan of military build up

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Biarritz (France), Aug 26:  The North Korea test-firing a high-tech rocket system under the supervision of Kim Jong Un has invited criticism from United States as President Donald Trump said he was “not happy” with the latest launch of missiles.

Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Saturday,marking the ninth round of such launches in 2019 and the seventh test in a month.

The series of recent launches are being conducted as a mark of protest against the South Korea’s joint exercises with the US which completed last week.

Experts are of the view that North Korea has been pushing to develop powerful multiple rocket launch systems, whose projectiles resemble short-range missiles.

North Korea’s official news agency described the eight-wheeled launcher as a “super-large multiple rocket launcher”, and quoted Kim as saying the country needed to keep stepping up weapons development “for resolutely frustrating the ever-mounting military threats”.

During a press conference with Japanese prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of their meeting in France,US President Trump reiterated that the launches have not violated the deal as the agreement prohibits the firing of long-range ballistic missiles.”I’m not happy about it, but then again he’s not in violation of the agreement,” Trump said.

Hoping for a second term in 2020 presidential polls, Trump has been reluctant to accept that he is unable to persuade Kim to give up his nuclear weapons arsenal rather he is justifying the act because of the enormous political capital invested by him on diplomacy.

Shinzo Abe shared a different perspective about the launches as it was conducted two days after South Korea decided to pull out of a military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan.

Abe said, “So, our position is very clear: That the launch of short-range ballistic missiles by North Korea clearly violates the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions. It was extremely regrettable for us to experience another round of the launch of the short-range ballistic missiles by North Korea in recent days.”

Abe,who is in France attending a meeting of G7 leaders,underlined that he fully support US-North Korea talks.

Denuclearisation talks have stalled since a second face-to-face summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke down in February.

In June the two leaders met in in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the North and South Koreas and agreed to resume working-level negotiations.

North Korea accuses Japan of building up military

North Korea has accused Japan of using the prevailing situation in the Korean Peninsula as a pretext for openly pushing forward the moves for becoming a military power under the signboard of “defence”.

The report carried by the Korean Central News Agency stated ,”The Japan Defense Minister recently described the DPRK’s legitimate military measures for self-defence as sort of “threats” and called for further beefing up Japan’s missile defence system. He also voiced his invariable stand for the deployment of Aegis Ashore despite strong rebuff at home and abroad.”

The Japan Defence Ministry announced on August 16 that it officially decided to introduce F-35B equipped with the capabilities for short-distance lift and vertical landing.

“This aims at their practical use not only in the Air “Self-defence Force” (SDF) but on Izmo, the largest warship of the Maritime SDF. Therefore, the SDF’s possession of a carrier, which does not comply with the principle of exclusive defence, has become an established fact,” the KCNA commentary said.

By Arti Bali

(Sr Journalist)

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