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North Korea rails against Japan plans for constitutional amendment

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for amending Japan's pacifist Constitution. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for amending Japan's pacifist Constitution. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 15 (UPI) -- North Korea condemned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday for plans to amend Japan's pacifist Constitution.

Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA claimed amending Tokyo's Constitution draws Japan one step closer to invasive foreign wars.

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North Korea has previously criticized Abe's long-term goal of amending or revising Japan's Constitution, which he expects to complete this year. The proposal has been met with resistance from Japan's political opposition. Tokyo has insisted on strengthening its military amid friction with China and North Korea.

Last week Abe urged his party to step up the process of constitutional reform.

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On Wednesday KCNA said Japan is "frantically jumping around" to develop military strength for future moves toward aggression beyond its borders.

"In the event of a constitutional revision, which gives [Japan's] self-defense force legitimacy, the Japanese reactionaries will have all the preconditions necessary to realize military aggression overseas," KCNA said.

North Korea is criticizing Japan at a time when it is extending Workers' Party meetings at the municipal and provincial levels, according to party paper Rodong Sinmun on Wednesday.

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The regional party meetings raised concerns of "anti-socialist" trends among North Korean youth. Party members were urged to "enhance their role and function" in combating "non-socialist" phenomena, according to state media.

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North Korea has turned down cooperation with the South, but Seoul is seeking other ways to make contact.

Yonhap reported Wednesday the South Korean government is willing to expand "independent inter-Korea cooperation," or private efforts to enhance exchange.

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Seoul is looking into permitting individual South Korean tourist travel to North Korea. In previous years, Seoul allowed tourist travel to the North on the condition South Koreans travel in groups.

In December South Korea had said it would provide financial assistance for separated family members who are willing to hold reunions in a third country.

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