Prime minister dismissed as 'political half-wit'

Pyongyang riled by Abe’s entreaty


North Korea has dismissed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a “political half-wit” for predicting its collapse and warned that Japan will never be safe if war breaks out because it is within striking range of its missiles.

“Abe talked about the ‘collapse’ of the DPRK, but he had better think twice before uttering such nonsense,” the Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. “Japan is within the striking range of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK and it will never be safe when a war breaks out.” The North’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Later Saturday, the KCNA carried its own critique of Abe’s “absolutely ludicrous” remarks, saying: “If Abe and other Japanese politicians continue wagging their tongues, thinking that they can stay outside the firing range of the DPRK, that will precipitate their destruction.”

On March 15, Abe criticized Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development programs in an NHK interview, saying: “If things go on like this, North Korea will surely move further down the road to collapse.” He urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to make a “bold decision” to change his regime’s policy and move instead along a road leading to prosperity.

“These senseless remarks could be made only by Abe who is steeped in hostility to the DPRK to the marrow of his bones,” the newspaper said.

Alluding to Pyongyang’s nuclear tests, the latest of which was conducted last month, and its successful launch of a satellite using a long-range missile in December, the newspaper argued that the North is simply exercising its right to self-defense and said it requires “strong war deterrence” to “hasten the building of an economic power unrestrained.”

Abe was further lambasted by North Korean media for saying that if the North engaged in military adventurism, the U.S. would take action, and Pyongyang should not underestimate Washington’s resolve to intervene. By way of response, KCNA accused him and other conservative politicians in Japan of “stooping to any infamy to please their master (the U.S.) and improve their image, staking their fate on escalating confrontation with the DPRK.”

“Their rhetoric is nothing but a hysteric fit of mentally deranged and die-hard sycophants,” KCNA said.

It also slammed Abe’s remarks as “too coarse to be made by a head of state,” claiming they had caused Japan to lose face and fueled skepticism over his qualifications to lead the country.

“It is tragic that Japan is ruled by such (a) politically half-witted (leader) as Abe, who is unable to discern the truth and does not have elementary common sense as politician,” KCNA said.