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N. Korea slams Japan's plan to set up military space unit

SAT 2020 18 JAN 07:58:PM (GMT: SAT 2020 18 JAN 10:58:AM)

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Saturday slammed Tokyo's plan to establish a military space unit, saying the plan is a dangerous and reckless move to make Japan a "military giant."

"Japan is madly keen on exploiting even the outer space for its sinister purpose of building up 'defense capacity,'" the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang's official mouthpiece, said in its editorial. "The outer space can never be reduced to a theatre for the state of aggression, the war-thirsty state."

Japan last year announced that its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) plan to create a military unit specializing in space matters by 2023.

The KCNA doubted the Asian neighbor's intention to build up its defense capacity in space.

"Japan still remains a war criminal state, a war force dreaming of overseas invasion which has made desperate efforts to whitewash and repeat its blood-stained and crime-woven past, before the international community," the KCNA said. "Worse still, all the moves of Japan are being rapidly directed to the realization of its wild dream of becoming a military giant and launching overseas invasion."

Experts here said North Korea's hostile reaction over Japan's military plan may come from the communist state's concern that Tokyo's upgraded space power could easily detect its missile tests and other military provocations.

In this Kyodo News photo, dated Oct. 17, 2019, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe greets the country's Self-Defense Forces soldiers in Fukushima, Japan. (Yonhap)