Japan’s defense minister asserted Monday that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities have grown to an “unprecedented, critical and imminent” level, requiring “different responses” to the threat. The minister, Itsunori Odonera, said that this rising threat compels his country to endorse the U.S. view that “all options” must be considered, which President Donald Trump says includes possible military action.
Japan was alarmed by North Korea twice launching missiles over Japanese territory, in August and in September. Odonera’s comments, made through an interpreter, came at the outset of a so-called trilateral meeting in the Philippines with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korea’s defense minister, Song Young-moo. Each made statements about North Korea before a group of reporters and news cameras, but none took questions. READ MORE