A huge military parade is taking place in North Korea on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party. Supreme leader Kim Jong-un attended the ceremony in Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung Square, telling the gathered troops his country was ready to fight "any kind of war waged by the US". The ceremony included troops marching in formation and a flypast.
North Korea is ready to fight "any kind of war waged by the US", leader Kim Jong Un said in a speech during celebrations to mark 70 years of the ruling Workers' Party. Addressing troops gathered in Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung Square, he said: "The party's revolutionary armament means we are ready to fight any kind of war waged by the U.S. imperialists." A senior Chinese Communist Party official was present at the event as an envoy of President Xi Jinping.
North Korea said the issue of "comfort women" is not exclusive to South Korea, and Pyongyang must be included in the talks between Seoul and Tokyo in order for all parties to arrive at a satisfactory resolution to what has proven to be a sensitive matter for the countries involved.
Speaking to Pyongyang's state media outlet KCNA, a spokesperson for North Korea's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the leaders of Japan and South Korea had met and agreed to speed up ways of finding a solution to the issue of Korean "comfort women," who were forced to serve in Japanese military brothels during wartime.
"Organized sexual slavery under Japanese colonial rule, and during World War II, is one of many sins that Japan must make penance for, a heinous human rights violation that infringed upon the dignity and virtue of women," North Korea said, according to South Korean newspaper Herald Business.
North Korea said the "repulsive crime" should not be a problem that can be so hastily addressed. "Victims of Japanese sexual slavery are not only in the South, they are also in the North, and if the problem is not resolved for [North and South], the problem ultimately cannot be resolved at all," Pyongyang said in statement, adding that Japan must provide reparations for all other crimes against humanity during its colonization of Korea.
Japan's prime minister must heal the wounds over "comfort women", most of whom were Korean and forced into prostitution in Japan's military brothels before and during World War Two, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Friday.
The neighbors have struggled to find common ground over Japan's 1910-1945 colonization of Korea, particularly the issue of "comfort women", as they are euphemistically known, with the issue long an obstacle to better ties between the U.S. allies.
"As the Japanese prime minister and I agreed to expedite consultations for the early resolution of the issue ... I believe now is high time to make a decision to attend to the wounds from the past and heal them," Park said on Friday in an email interview with news agencies, including Reuters. "Dragging on without acknowledging the problem goes against the sentiment commonly shared by all peoples around the world," she said.
The Seoul-based news agency reported that a North Korean KN-11 missile was fired between 2.20 p.m. (0520 UTC) and 2.40 p.m. local time on Saturday. The submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) was discharged from a submerged barge in the Sea of Japan but there was no indication that the missile successful ejected from the vessel and took off, it said.
Quoting an unnamed South Korean government official, Yonhap reported that the rocket flew about 150 meters (490 feet) out of the water. "There is no identification of a missile taking flight and only fragments of a safety cover were observed so it's highly likely that the launch was a misfire," the source was cited as saying.
North Korean officials have yet to reveal details of the test, but they did declare a no-sail zone off the country's eastern coast two weeks ago. Pyongyang is still years away from developing submarine missile launch technology, the Reuters news agency reported.
Japan’s Kyodo News reports a South Korean man was caught on surveillance video immediately before a recent explosion at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. The news agency said Thursday that police used the video to identify and track down the man. Police said he’s already returned to South Korea.
On the video, the man is carrying what appears to be a bag. Police also found Korean words on objects in a restroom near the south gate of the war shrine, where the explosion took place late last month.
The shrine, considered a symbol of Japan’s past imperialism, houses the remains of 14 Class A war criminals from World War II. Conservative Japanese politicians have visited the shrine despite criticism from South Korea and China, two major victims of Japan’s past militarism. During a regular press briefing, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga refused to confirm that a South Korean man was involved in the incident. Instead, he said that all investigation procedures would proceed “in accordance with the law and hard evidence.”