Tensions on the Korean peninsula have spiked in recent days amid concerns that Pyongyang could be on the verge of executing its sixth nuclear test and as a United States aircraft carrier-led strike group heads to the region.
North Korea responded by denouncing the move as an aggression and threatening a nuclear strike if the US were to take military action. Pyongyang, meanwhile, recently launched a ballistic missile and some experts say it could conduct another nuclear test at virtually anytime. New satellite images suggest North Korea might soon conduct another underground detonation.
"North Korea.is likely to maintain several facilities to produce chemical weapons and already possess a considerable number of them", he added.
"That is kind of the deterrence we need to have", Abe said. On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry issued a travel advisory to Japanese residents and tourists in South Korea, reminding them of a growing tension.
But Mr Yoshihide Suga, the government's chief spokesman, elaborated later when asked about the comments at a regular briefing.
The paper estimates, as of that year, North Korea had 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, including anthrax, smallpox and plague.
The rising tension and the Trump administration's more assertive policy toward North Korea are apparently helping Abe's government gain public support for a stronger defense. He added that if China doesn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the US can handle it. But recently, Abe's ruling party has proposed that Japan should bolster its missile defense, including upgrading the capability to shoot down an enemy missile and acquiring the capacity to attack the base it was sacked from.
US President Donald Trump said in a tweet yesterday: "I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea". It's rumored that the "important event" being held in Pyongyang may be North Korea's sixth official nuke test and another step towards the countries nuclear capability expansion.
Kim, who arrived in a black limousine, did not make a speech.
Fifth anniversary of Kim Jong-un's transition to power may translate into the test.