The Korea Herald


N. Korea slams Japan Self Defense Forces members' visit to Yasukuni Shrine

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 18, 2024 - 10:06

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North Korea on Thursday lambasted senior officers of the Japan Self-Defense Forces for visiting a war shrine seen as a symbol of Japan's militaristic past.

The criticism came after Lt. Gen. Hiroki Kobayashi, vice chief of staff of the Ground Self-Defense Force, and dozens of officials visited the Yasukuni Shrine last week, prompting Tokyo's defense ministry to investigate whether they violated a regulation that bans military units from visiting religious facilities.

The shrine honors Japan's war dead, including 14 convicted World War II criminals. Neighboring countries like South Korea and China view visits to the shrine by Japanese leaders as an attempt to glorify the country's militaristic past.

In a commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea said the visit came at a time when tension is running high on the Korean Peninsula due to the "United States and puppet war gangsters."

In December, South Korea, the US and Japan launched a trilateral system for the real-time sharing of North Korean missile warning data in a joint effort to counter the North's military threats. (Yonhap)