Japan calls North Korea's remarks and behaviour 'absolutely unacceptable'

Pedestrians walk in front of a large video screen in Tokyo broadcasting a news report showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, following a North Korean missile test that passed over Japan, on Sept 15, 2017.
Pedestrians walk in front of a large video screen in Tokyo broadcasting a news report showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, following a North Korean missile test that passed over Japan, on Sept 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Friday (Sept 22) that North Korea's remarks and behaviour were "absolutely unacceptable" and provocative to regional and international security.

Suga was speaking after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to make US President Donald Trump pay dearly for threatening to destroy his country, and after North Korea's foreign minister was quoted as saying he believes the North could consider a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said the comment by North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho was utterly unacceptable.

Ri was speaking to reporters in New York when he was asked what the North Korean leader had meant when he threatened the "highest level of hardline countermeasure in history" against the United States in an earlier statement.

North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific, Ri responded, although he added that he did not know Kim's exact thoughts, Yonhap reported.

The North Korean leader blasted Trump as “mentally deranged” on Friday and vowed to make him pay dearly for threatening to destroy his country, hours after Trump ordered fresh sanctions over Pyongyang’s weapons programmes.

Tensions have risen as North Korea has resisted intense international pressure to halt its nuclear and missile programmes. Trump and Kim have been ratcheting up their war of words and calling each other names.

The US president said in his first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that he would “totally destroy” the country of 26 million people if the North threatened the United States and its allies. He called Kim a “rocket man” on a suicide mission.