The newspaper of North Korea's ruling party lambasted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday as a "kingpin of corruption" over his alleged roles in two graft scandals that had in recent months pulled down his approval ratings.

The state-run Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary that Abe "has been forsaken by the public" for "evil deeds" and "abusing power."

But that claim runs counter to recent public opinion polls in Japan, which actually show the prime minister's support rate rebounding as he appears to be weathering the scandals.