North Korea has warned Japan that any attempt to use the North's recent rocket launch as a pretext to revive militarism will have "catastrophic" consequences.
In a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry, North Korea accused Japan of trying to use the rocket launch as an excuse to build up its military and said Tokyo harbors a plan to ultimately invade the North.The statement, carried Tuesday by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, also said Japan was using the launch to deflect attention from its domestic economic crisis.
"The Japanese authorities must ponder over what catastrophic consequences will result," it said.
A North Korean radio broadcast of the statement, monitored Wednesdayby Tokyo-based Ra-dio-press, said relations between the countries have deteriorated to the point of placing them "on the verge of war."
The reference to war, however, was not included in KCNA's text of the statement.
The United Nations Security Council urged North Korea on Tuesday to stop launching any more "objects" without warning and urged surrounding countries to refrain from retaliatory action.