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N. Korea slams Japanese minister over criticism of weapons tests

North Korea's state media slammed Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono on Tuesday for his criticism of the North's weapons tests, which it said were aimed at enhancing the country's "self-defense" capability. 

Kono criticized North Korea last week over a series of weapons tests since May, saying the presumed launches of ballistic missiles represent an "imminent threat" to the security of Japan. 

North Korea has said that those tests were intended to improve its self-defense capability without mentioning whether they involved ballistic missiles, which would constitute a violation of international sanctions.

"Days ago, Japanese Defense Minister Kono, terming the DPRK's measure for increasing capabilities for self-defense a 'ballistic missile launch,' solicited for international support," the Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. 

(Reuters)
(Reuters)

"He again ranted about 'imminent threat from North Korea aboard the escort warship Izumo re-modeled into an aircraft carrier. This stems from his deep-seated hostility toward the DPRK," it added. 

The KCNA emphasized that the tests do not pose any threat to Japan. 

"Nonetheless, Japan is instigating the international pressure on the DPRK under the pretext of the unreasonable 'threat'. This shows that it seeks a sordid intention, not the security of its country and region," it said.

The KCNA criticized Japan for its hypocrisy in asking for "dialogue without preconditions" while at the same time rallying the international community for greater sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang.

"It is useless for Japan to keep raving about 'threat' and 'provocation,'" it said. "Japan's shameless and narrow-minded behavior turning black into white and acting flippantly will only make its miserable entity as a political dwarf stand out." (Yonhap)

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