All national papers reported over the weekend on a statement released by a senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, who criticized Prime Minister Abe for his denunciation of its missile launch on Thursday. Emphasizing that his country tested a “super-large multiple-rocket launcher,” the DPRK diplomat called Abe a “fool unable to differentiate a rocket from a missile.” He reportedly warned the Japanese leader will “witness firsthand a genuine ballistic missile in the not-so-distant future.”
Pointing out Pyongyang has repeatedly demanded Washington make concessions in denuclearization talks by year’s end, Mainichi projected the Kim regime may stage more provocations this month. Yomiuri said the latest launch demonstrated the Kim regime has steadily improved its ability to quickly fire multiple rockets from mobile launch vehicles in a short span, quoting an ROK defense expert as saying the DPRK has perhaps perfected the super-large multiple-rocket launcher for operational deployment in the near future. Asahi took up the disclosure by a source involved in U.S.-ROK relations that North Korea has built platforms in dozens of locations across the nation to support the firing of ballistic missiles from mobile launchers. The paper conjectured the platforms allow the DPRK to accurately fire projectiles in rapid succession without being detected by the U.S. or its allies.