Japan says ‘can never tolerate’ North Korea provocations

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga  / AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA

The Japanese government said Thursday it “can never tolerate” provocations from North Korea after the country’s military said it was finalising a plan to launch missiles towards Guam that would fly over Japan.

“North Korea’s provocative actions, including this time, are obviously provocative to the region including Japan as well as to the security of the international community,” Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief government spokesman, told reporters. “We can never tolerate this.”

Japan has in the past vowed to shoot down North Korean missiles or rockets that threaten to hit its territory, though Suga declined to disclose details about its strategy this time.

But the Self-Defense Forces, the country’s military, will “take necessary measures”, he said.

“It’s very important to maintain US deterrent power as the security situation in the region is extremely severe,” he added.

“President Trump has said all options are on the table and the government welcomes that policy.”

He said Japan and the US are “closely consulting with each other” and will hold a meeting of their foreign and defence ministers on August 17.

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