The Japanese prime minister has strongly condemned North Korea’s reported testing of an engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Shinzo Abe was speaking at an event to support the families of Japanese abducted in the seventies and eighties by Pyongyang.
He said there would be “severe payback.”
“We need to firmly make them understand that these taunts come with a ‘severe payback’ and unless they resolve the nuclear issue and missile issues, they will not be able to see a bright future,” said Abe.
North Korean state media (KCNA) reported the country’s leader Kim Jong-un supervised a successful engine test on Saturday (April 9).
The test was conducted at the North’s missile station near its west coast, where, in February, the country launched a long-range rocket that put an object into space orbit, KCNA said.
South Korea’s defence officials did not immediately provide comment on the authenticity of Saturday’s report.
Recent reports of advancement in Pyongyang’s nuclear and rocket programmes have earned the regime fresh sanctions from the United Nations.
Last month, North Korea threatened to test a nuclear warhead and ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warheads “soon.”