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Japan's Abe says Tokyo "simply could not accept" NKorea nuclear test

Japan's Abe says Tokyo "simply could not accept" NKorea nuclear test

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday that Japan would find it unacceptable if North Korea were to carry out a threatened nuclear test.
Responding to questions in parliament, Abe said that the statement issued Tuesday by North Korea's foreign ministry that Pyongyang plans to conduct a nuclear test was "extremely regrettable."
"Naturally, we simply could not accept if North Korea were to conduct a nuclear test," Abe said.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hakubun Shimomura told reporters that a test would be a "grave threat to the peace and security of northeast Asia and the international community."
"We hope that North Korea will accept the intention of the international community in a sincere manner and practice maximum self-restraint," Shimomura said.
Shimomura added that Japan was still gathering intelligence, but refused to comment on Japan's current understanding about the threat of a test.
North Korea triggered global alarm on Tuesday by saying it will conduct a nuclear test, a key step in the manufacture of atomic bombs that it views as a deterrent against any U.S. attack.
But two Japanese spy satellites focusing on a suspected underground test site had not observed any activities that could appear connected to test preparations as of Tuesday, the Asahi newspaper reported, citing unidentified government sources.
News reports in early August cited U.S. officials saying suspicious activity had been observed at a possible underground nuclear test site dug into the side of a mountain near the northern town of Chiktong.
Japan has focused its attention on the region, stationing the two satellites to photograph the area and monitor North Korean military transmissions, the Asahi said.
However, analysis of photographic data reviewed as of Tuesday had not confirmed any signs of possible test-related activity, such as the closing of roads or the loading of measuring devices, it said.
There also have not been any radio transmissions detected that would be akin to those associated with a nuclear test, the paper said.


Updated : 2021-04-22 22:25 GMT+08:00