Japan PM: NKorea may be capable of sarin-loaded missiles

Japan began working on plans to respond to a potential crisis on the Korean peninsula in February, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met US President Donald Trump, the Kyodo news agency said.

His warning came as analysts said North Korea may be preparing for a sixth nuclear test ahead of a key anniversary in the country and following the deployment of a USA naval strike group to the region. He added that if China doesn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the US can handle it.

The dollar nursed losses on Friday, on track for a losing week as continuing tensions in North Korea underpinned the perceived safe-haven Japanese currency.

Citing the Syrian regime's alleged use of the nerve agent, the Japanese leader added that "tension is certainly rising" and Tokyo should strengthen its defences against North Korea.

Kim said. He continued, that the two sides agreed that "an even stronger United Nations resolution" will have to be adopted in the event of additional weapons test by North Korea.

Japan's National Security Council discussed how to evacuate its almost 60,000 citizens from South Korea in the event of a crisis, a government official said on Friday, amid rising concern over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

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In addition, the country will commemorate the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il-sung, on Saturday and the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army on April 25.

"What we need to do is explain to China that it's in their interest, despite years of policy to the contrary, it's in their interest to see North and South Korea reunited in a sensible way".

Japan has taken a few steps this week to reassure the public about its effort to protect the public.

But Yoshihide Suga, the government's chief spokesman, did elaborate when later asked about the comments at a regular briefing.

Japan, under its postwar constitution, has limited the role of its military to self-defense only and relied on the USA for offensive and nuclear capability.

On Wednesday, Abe said that should "various unforeseen circumstances" arise, Japan would ask the U.S.to help rescue Japanese whom North Korea abducted in decades past.

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