Japan

N Korea criticizes Japan’s missile shield plans

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The North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun in a commentary Saturday criticized plans by the Japanese government to deploy a land-based missile shield, alleging that the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ambitions to become a "military giant."

The commentary called justifications for the Aegis Ashore system by Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera focused on North Korea "just a sly trick of the Japanese regime to calm down the growing concern and discontent of the citizens."

"Japan is trying to disturb the reconciliation and easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula," the commentary said.

"Japan had better cool down its head heated up with the wild ambition for a military giant and keep its step with the regional trend oriented to peace, though belatedly," it added.

The Japanese government is pushing to install the U.S.-developed Aegis Ashore system in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures to strengthen Japan's defenses against potential threats from North Korean nuclear arms or missiles.

However, many residents around possible deployment sites have voiced concern about the safety of the costly system.

© KYODO

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