Japan’s defence minister has claimed on Monday that North Korean nuclear programmes pose an “imminent” danger to the region. The North Korea nuclear threat is at its critical level, and it is very dangerous for the entire world, says Itsunori Onodera during his meeting with his US and South Korean counterparts, in the Philippines.
On Monday, the defence ministers of Japan, US, and South Korea held a meeting, the agenda included North Korea issue. According to Mr Onodera, the Japanese top military official said it was essential those countries concerned about the threat acted to confront it. Jim Mattis and Song Young-moo agreed that with an offer of Mr Onodera who calls to take calibrated and different responses to meet with that level of threat.
Despite increasingly tough UN sanctions, Pyongyang has moved ahead with its missile and nuclear programmes in recent weeks. It has fired missiles twice over Japan — which it also threatened to destroy last month — and carried out its most powerful nuclear test to date.
Tokyo has chosen to remain in lockstep with US president Donald Trump in building up pressure on North Korea, endorsing his hostile rhetoric even when it goes far beyond what Tokyo itself prefers.
The country has lived within range of Pyongyang’s missiles for many years, however, and while keen to tighten sanctions it has no appetite for the kind of military options under debate in Washington, where the administration has highlighted its growing concern.
The US has responded by sabre-rattling and a barrage of rhetoric. During his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Donald Trump said the US may be obliged to “totally destroy” North Korea. He has also denounced the outreach endeavours of his top diplomat, Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.