North Korea continues to escalate its saber-rattling and aggressive rhetoric with a government-backed newspaper warning on Wednesday that the country of Japan will become a battlefield if Tokyo continues to push towards war. The Rodong Sinmun, run by the ruling Workers’ Party, wrote in a commentary that Japan is following closely with the U.S.‘s hostile policies towards North Korea, but because the country’s location is so close, it is well within range for attack.
The paper continued that Japan will only bring about its own devastation, and went on to point out five of the country’s largest cities — Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Nagoya, and Kyoto — which host roughly one-third the population, meaning Japan’s endurance for war could be wiped out in a single strike. While certainly an alarming threat, the idea of the Japanese archipelago turning into a battlefield, let alone multiple cities being hit, is seen as highly unlikely; not only Japan, but also the U.S. and South Korea have a number of missile-defense systems set up, including ships stationed in the Sea of Japan off the Korean Peninsula.
While North Korea has repeatedly been making threats of a nuclear attack against the United States in recent weeks, this warning to Japan could be in response to the country’s extending of sanctions against the isolated nation for another 2 years. The statement about Japan being within range of Pyongyang’s missiles is also in line with previous declaration that the U.S. military bases in Japan, including Okinawa, Yokosuka, and Misawa, are among the potential targets for attack.