Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called the prospect of a nuclear-capable North Korea "absolutely unacceptable" and said the security situation facing his country was the severest since the Second World War, a CNN report has said.
Prime Minister Abe urged the international community to apply concerted pressure to the rogue nation in an attempt to coerce its regime into giving up its nuclear ambitions."
A nuclear armed North Korea is absolutely unacceptable," he said at a news conference Thursday in Japan's Mie prefecture, following a New Year's visit to the famous Ise Shrine.
Tensions in the region have remained high in recent months. In September, the North Korean regime carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. Its most recent missile test -- during the early hours of November 29 -- landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone.
"Without giving in to any provocative action, we must change the North Korea's policy by maximizing the pressure in complete solidarity with the international community," Abe said.
Abe underlined the graveness of the situation by comparing it to the Second World War, a conflict which was finally ended with the dropping of two atom bombs -- the precursor to today's nuclear weapons -- on Japanese cities.
"It is not an exaggeration to say the security environment surrounding Japan is at its severest since the war," he said."By raising pressure on North Korea together with the international community, I intend to do my utmost to solve North Korea's nuclear, missile and abduction issues."The stark warnings are at odds with a renewed sense of cautious optimism felt in nearby South Korea.