The United States are “fully committed” to protecting Japan, US Secretary of State John Kerry said after North Korea threatened Tokyo would be “consumed in nuclear flames”.
“The United States is fully committed to the defence of Japan,” Kerry said on Sunday before a widely anticipated missile launch by North Korea.
Kerry made his statement after the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said at the end of last week that any intention coming from Japan to shoot down a North Korean missile would lead to starting a war.
“Japan is always in the cross-hairs of our revolutionary army and if Japan makes a slightest move, the spark of war will touch Japan first,” KCNA said.
“Japan must come to its senses and behave rightly,” it added, according to the international press.
Japan placed anti-ballistic missile batteries in and around Tokyo, and vowed it would respond to any missile targeted by North Korea at the country’s capital.
“All we can say is we will take every possible measure to respond to any scenario,” a spokesman for the defence ministry said.