July 2 (UPI) -- North Korea verbally attacked Japan on Tuesday, calling the country a malignant tumor that is "disturbing the peace of Northeast Asia."
Korean Workers' Party paper Rodong Sinmun compared the world's third-largest economy to cancer, referring to its latest military decisions.
Japan plans to deploy two Aegis Ashore interceptors, largely to prepare for possible North Korea ballistic missile attacks. In May, Pyongyang tested several short-range missiles.
North Korea described Japan's decision as part of the country's goal to "realize military ambitions."
"Japan, in a frenzy amid reinvasion maneuvers, is a malignant tumor that is destroying peace and stability in Northeast Asia," the Rodong said.
The Aegis Ashore systems were approved for purchase in January by the U.S. State Department. Total cost of the system is estimated at more than $2 billion.
The plan for deployment is the work of "Japanese reactionaries" who are trying to expand militarily, North Korea said.
"Aegis Ashore, deployed in Japan, would not only target the Korean Peninsula but also China and Russia," the Rodong stated.
North Korea also raised the issue of Japan's wartime past in the article, calling the island nation a country of war criminals.
"Japan is a defeated country that has experienced the bitter taste of punishment for committing crimes against humanity," the Rodong said.
Japan has been locked in a longstanding dispute with both Koreas over history.
Tokyo recently decided to target South Korea with technology-related trade restrictions in response to Seoul's support of compensation for forced laborers during World War II.
The Nikkei reported Tuesday the restrictions are raising concerns among Japanese companies that import South Korean semiconductors.
Korean semiconductor parts, imported to Japan, are being targeted in Tokyo. The restrictions could slow the import of Korean technology into Japan, according to the report.