Could North Korea Hit Japan with Sarin Nerve Gas Missiles?

"There is a possibility that North Korea already has a capability to put sarin on warheads to strike the ground", he said. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denied any "imminent danger", however.

On April 4, more than 80 people were killed and many more injured in a chemical attack in Idlib province, which the USA and its allies blame on the Syrian regime.

North Korea, which never signed the worldwide Chemical Weapons Convention, is believed to have up to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, according to a South Korean defense white paper, though the North has never acknowledged it. While the north's continued development of nuclear warheads has been a top issue of concern, Abe stressed that the country already had the ability to fire a sarin-tipped missile at Japan.

Originally conceived as a pesticide, sarin was used by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime to gas thousands of Kurds in the northern town of Halabja in 1988.

The United States has warned that a policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over.

5 dead in Venezuela protests as movement gains steam
State officials have tweeted images and videos of demonstrators vandalising public property and throwing rocks at police. The next major organised rallies called by opposition leaders are set for Wednesday next week.

The North Korean US-based monitoring service 38 North has said the country's nuclear site is "primed and ready" for a sixth nuclear test.

Abe cited Syria, where dozens of people died recently in an alleged sarin nerve gas attack, as an example that Japan should take seriously, stressing the need to strengthen its deterrence against the North.

North Korea marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of the state's founder Kim Il Sung on Saturday. North Korea relies mainly on domestic coal, but oil is used by the military as well as in transport and agriculture.

Following the meeting, the President said he had told Mr Xi "that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem".

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