N. Korea warns Japan could be hit by 'fiery lightning' in case of conflict
SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea warned Tuesday that Japan could face a military strike if Tokyo revives its past militarism.
The North's main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, claimed that Japan's move to exercise the right of collective self-defense underscores its desire to expand its military muscle abroad and invade unspecified countries again.
It also warned that the Asia-Pacific region could be plunged into a state of war if Japan exercises the right of collective self-defense.
"Japan should keep in mind that it could be the first hit by a fiery lightning in case of conflict," the newspaper said, referring to a military strike.
North Korea did not clarify if it intended to strike Japan in case of a conflict.
The warning comes amid reports that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to hold a news conference on Thursday calling for the right to exercise collective self-defense.
Last month, the United States said it "welcomes and supports Japan's consideration of the matter of exercising the right of collective self-defense."
Also Tuesday, South Korea expressed a negative view of Japan's bid to exercise collective self-defense, arguing that it is desirable for Japan to keep an exclusively defensive posture.
Exercising collective self-defense would allow Japan to fight alongside its allies, something that has been considered beyond the scope of its war-renouncing constitution.
The two Koreas and China are wary of Japan's moves in light of its past militarism. Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-45 and controlled much of China during World War II.