Earlier this week, Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe said that North Korea is possibly capable of launching missiles with the sarin nerve agent.
"There is a possibility that North Korea is capable to fill warheads with sarin and carry out a [missile] strike. Of course, the discussion of deterrence measures should depend on the real situation. I think that we should constantly consider different options regarding the steps our country should take," Abe said in an address to the Japanese parliament.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated ever since North Korea carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests, one of the latest being a launch of four missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan conducted March 6.
The launches are considered to be in violation with the corresponding resolution adopted by the United Nations. In addition, North Korea reportedly launched on April 5 a ballistic missile from Sinpho, in South Hamgyong Province.
Earlier, it was reported that Japan asked the US to hold preliminary consultations if the option of a preemptive strike against North Korea was in consideration.
By making anti-Pyongyang statements, Tokyo wants to support Washington’s media campaign against North Korea, according to Vladimir Kolotov, a political analyst and head of the Ho Chi Minh Institute, at St. Petersburg State University.
"Warheads with sarin are nonsense. If there are already nuclear warheads why would anyone need sarin? This doesn’t make sense. But it seems that Tokyo decided to take advantage of the situation around the chemical incident in Syrian Idlib. This is information pressure over North Korea. Japan has backed Washington’s media attack," Kolotov told Radio Sputnik.
Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump said Tuesday that an "armada" was sailing towards North Korea in a show of force.
The US has sent aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, surrounded by a fleet of warships, towards the Korean Peninsula. Trump also expressed hope after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that Beijing could help "solve the North Korea problem."
The North Korean General Staff, in its turn, threatened the US with a "preemptive strike" on US military bases in Japan and South Korean and USS Carl Vinson in case of a US' "provocation."
According to the expert, the situation is getting unpredictable and such threats only deepen tensions.
"Trump wants to strengthen his reputation in the international arena. This is the reason behind Washington’s sabre-rattling and muscle flexing. On the other hand, Syria cannot respond to such actions since when it comes to North Korea the situation is unpredictable. Washington’s approach is like accusing somebody of, for example, having chemical weapons. Usually there is no evidence, but the scheme works out," Kolotov said.
He suggested that Pyongyang would respond to provocations by the US.
"North Korea is already reading for a response. The situation is very dangerous because each of the sides fuels tensions. But North Korea is unlikely to get scared and immediately surrender. Nuclear tests are one thing. But if Pyongyang was attacked it would respond and this would have serious consequences," Kolotov concluded.