North Korea staged a massive outdoor rally on Wednesday to protest against the UN’s latest sanctions on Pyongyang over its continued missile tests.
Video provided to Reuters by North Korea’s state news agency KCNA showed thousands of people gathered in Kim Il Sung square in the capital, marching and chanting slogans in support of the government.
While Kim Jong-un’s regime shows defiance, Japan said it won’t ever tolerate North Korean provocation but stressed it is ready should an attack occur.
“Our government has been preparing for various possible situations that could call for the evacuation or protection of our citizens in Japan and in foreign countries,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
“We have been contemplating scenarios and preparing to gather information, arrange transportation and confirm the safety of our people.”
Japan could legally intercept a North Korean missile headed towards Guam, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera was quoted as saying on Thursday.
Defence authorities in South Korea, another staunch US ally, had a stark message for their reclusive northern neighbour.
“Our military gives a stern warning: if North Korea conducts provocation in defiance of our military’s grave warning, it will confront the strong and firm response of our military and the US-South Korea alliance,” said South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon.
The US and South Korea remain technically still at war with the North after the Korean conflict in the 1950s ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.
The border between the two Koreas is one of the world’s most heavily fortified frontiers.