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Japanese PM: North Korea May Be Capable of Sarin Tipped Missiles

But they come as a reminder that as tensions build again between the USA and North Korea over Pyongyang's.

Japan is stepping up surveillance against a possible provocation by North Korea around the time of Kim Il-sung's birthday anniversary this Saturday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently received a proposal from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, calling for a review of rescue measures in the event of a North Korea regime collapse, local newspaper Sankei Shimbun reported Thursday.

Multiple recent North Korean missile tests have landed in the waters off the coast of Japan, and last month, state news agency KCNA said units conducting the drills were "tasked to strike the bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces in Japan".

Abe did not provide any evidence why he felt North Korea had the capability to equip missiles with chemical weapons.

Abe, while addressing the Japanese Parliament's diplomacy and defence committee, said North Korea's nuclear and missile technologies are making progress and labelled the situation "a new stage of threat".

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference the same day: "[North Korea] has been running several facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

According to South Korea's 2016 Defense White Paper, North Korea has been developing chemical weapons since 1980. If China decides to help, that would be great.

Fears have been growing that the reclusive North could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of UN sanctions and stark warnings from the United States that a policy of patience was over.

He says "no matter who it is, if it wants to make war or trouble on the Korean Peninsula, it must take the historical responsibility and pay the due price".

Besides commercial ships and planes, Japan would want to send military aircraft and ships to assist in the evacuation if the South Korean government agreed, the official, familiar with the discussion, said.

Trump told reporters Wednesday that he's leaning on Chinese President Xi Jinping to put pressure on North Korea to back off its nuclear weapons and missile development.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that the North was "looking for trouble" and if China didn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the USA could handle it alone.