Japan labels North Korea a threat in annual defense review

Japan labels North Korea a threat in annual defense review
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Japan’s government said Tuesday that North Korea is still a serious nuclear threat and hasn’t made progress toward denuclearization, The Associated Press reported.

“Its military actions have become an unprecedentedly serious and imminent threat to Japan’s national security,” Japan said in its annual defense review, according the AP. “There is no change in our basic recognition about the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles.”


The report, which is approved by the nation's Cabinet, also said that Japan needs to improve its missile defense programs to counteract North Korea, the news service added.

The report called it significant that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would pursue denuclearization during his summit with President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE in June. But it added that it is still necessary to watch what Pyongyang does to scale back its nuclear programs, according to the AP.

The report comes days after Trump told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to put off his planned visit to North Korea. Trump said he didn’t feel significant progress had been made toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. He placed blame on China, saying he didn’t believe “they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were.”

Trump declared after the summit with Kim in June that North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat.”

His decision not to send Pompeo to the country marked a rare admission that North Korea’s denuclearization is not going as well as he had indicated.