The strong reaction comes in the wake of Abe's December visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, which honors the Japanese war dead, including 14 Class-A war criminals. The conservative leader's government also has come under criticism as it reportedly wants to amend the country's pacifist constitution and boost defense spending due to growing Chinese threat.
Russian news agency RT quoted the official Korean Central News Agency as saying Tuesday that Abe is raising fears of nuclear and missile tests from North Korea to divert international attention from Japan's military expansion.
"There is no difference between the fascist maniac Hitler, who waged battle against communists to justify another war, and the reckless Abe who is using a confrontation with North Korea to justify Japan's new militarist ambitions," KCNA said.
North Korea's Rodong Sinmun, referring to Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine, accused him of honoring war criminals as "heroes" and "patriots," South Korea's Yonhap News reported.
"They are keen to hurl the Japanese armed with the idea of militarism into overseas aggression if the time is ripe for doing so," the newspaper said.
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