Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday sounded the alarm over Japan's "most severe security environment ever" in the postwar era, leading his key policy speech with a condemnation of nuclear-armed North Korea for the first time since he returned to power in December 2012.

Abe delivered his address in response to his ruling Liberal Democratic Party's overwhelming victory in the Oct. 22 Lower House election and his subsequent re-election as prime minister earlier this month.

He spent the bulk of his speech assuring the nation of his intention to make good on a gamut of campaign promises, from maximizing pressure on a recalcitrant Pyongyang and providing free day care services to kick-starting stalled debate on revising the pacifist Constitution.