Korea: 'We will sink Japan, reduce the USA mainland to ashes'

Kim Jong-un

GETTY RETALIATION There are fears Kim could respond to the action with another missile launch

North Korea has threatened to reduce the USA to ashes and dust as Kim Jong-un prepares another nuclear weapons test.

To the United States, the country that initiated and promoted the intensification of the sanctions on North Korea in the Security Council, Pyongyang issued an explicit threat: "Let's reduce the USA mainland into ashes and darkness".

"The four islands of the [Japanese] archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche", the committee said via Korean state news agency KCNA.

Tensions in the region had risen exponentially of late as a result of the hermit kingdom's sixth and largest nuclear test on 3 September.

She told the Security Council on Monday that the United States continues to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis, saying North Korea has not yet "passed the point of no return".

North Korea says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from "hostile" U.S. forces.

"Japan is no longer needed to exist near us", the state-run Korean Central News Agency said on Thursday, citing a statement by the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

Just days before his departure to New York City, President Moon Jae-in squashed the idea of South Korea's self-nuclear armament amid North Korea's recent missile launches and nuclear test.

"To respond to North Korea by having our own nuclear weapons will not maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula and could lead to a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia", Moon said.

Still, South Korea's Unification Ministry is considering providing $8 million in humanitarian aid to North Korea through global organizations such as UNICEF, Yonhap News reported Thursday, citing the ministry.

The commission could not confirm what kind of nuclear test the North conducted, he added.

It said Tokyo should never be forgiven for not offering a honest apology for its "never-to-be-condoned crimes against our people" in an apparent reference to Japan's wartime aggression. It said it also hasn't found traces of tritium, which accompany a test of a thermonuclear, or hydrogen, bomb.

Japan criticised the North's statement harshly.

Japanese officials strongly condemned the statement, labelling it "extremely provocative and egregious". "It is something that markedly heightens regional tension and is absolutely unacceptable", Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference on Thursday. Even if China and Russian Federation do fully enforce the latest sanctions, there's still considerable doubt about whether the stranglehold will force Kim to rethink the development of North Korea's nuclear weapons. Although the latest sanctions are not as tough as what the USA had sought, they are expected to have a significant impact. The Trump administration therefore plans to act on its own to restrict the flow of crude oil to North Korea from China, the North's main source of oil.

The US pushed a proposal to strengthen the already-existent United Nations sanctions on North Korea.

In response to sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the hermit nation warned they will nuke Japan and reduce the U.S. "to ashes and darkness".

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