North Korea slammed the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday after he termed the projectiles fired by Pyongyang two days back, as ballistic missiles.
On Thursday, North Korea launched two short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast in the fourth known test of its new weapon, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un voicing “great satisfaction” over the latest test.
After that firing, Abe and other top Japanese officials characterized the weapon a ballistic missile, labelling it a threat to Japan and the international community. Pyongyang is banned from firing ballistic missiles under United Nations Security Council resolutions.
A statement issued by state news agency KCNA by a vice director-general of the Department of Japanese Affairs of the North Korean foreign ministry said that “it can be said that (Shinzo) Abe is the only one idiot in the world and the most stupid man ever known in history.”
Abe “fails to tell one thing from another” and that the “underwit” is “excluded from international politics”, the statement added.
Despite the launches, Abe has voiced an eagerness to meet Kim “without conditions” in a bid to make a breakthrough on the North’s abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, the government has said.
The North, however, has poured cold water on the idea of an Abe-Kim summit.
Earlier this month, Song Il Ho, the North Korean ambassador for normalization talks with Japan, blasted Abe for reacting “as if a nuclear bomb was dropped on the land of Japan” to what the North described as a test-firing of rocket artillery.
North Korea had carried out a “successful” new test of its “super-larger multiple rocket launcher” system, the latest in a series of provocations by Pyongyang earlier in this month.
US President Donald Trump has played down the recent launches, repeatedly pointing to North Korea’s moratorium on nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches as foreign policy successes for him.
Trump and Kim then agreed to restart working-level talks during a brief meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the peninsula in June.
In August this year, North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles into the East Sea.
North Korea is under multiple sets of international sanctions over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes and lifting some of them was a key demand at the Hanoi summit.
In 2017, the North lobbed two intermediate-range missiles over Japan as it underwent a massive expansion in its capabilities, prompting Abe to call the new threat “unprecedented, serious and important.”