PYONGYANG, October 12 (Itar-Tass) — Hostile relations between Pyongyang and Tokyo “persist because of Japan’s stubborn unwillingness to revise its criminal past,” says an article published by the North Korean Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Friday.
The leading newspaper criticizes Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other leaders of that country for their stubborn unwillingness “to convey sincere apologies to the Korean people at the state level and pay a compensation for atrocious crimes committed during the colonial rule in Korea in 1910-1945”.
Only then Japan “can expect an improvement in relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the article stressed. Meanwhile, according to the newspaper that expresses the opinion of the country’s leadership “conservative forces of Japan try to embroider and justify its aggressive past”.
Japan “still cherishes its long-nurtured dream about the ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere’ with the Japanese empire at the head (Japan’s geopolitical plan of the WWII time), where it plays the role of the leader,” the newspaper stressed.
According to the Rodong Sinmun, from 1910 to 1945 the Japanese authorities forcibly removed for slave labor over 8.4 million Koreans. About a million people died.
In 1965, Japan normalized relations with South Korea. North Korea and Japan still have no diplomatic relations and there is no direct transport communication between them. Like Washington, Tokyo supports the regime of extremely tough sanctions against Pyongyang in response to its nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.
These measures practically ban bilateral trade and the issuing of Japanese entry visas to North Korean officials. North Korean ships are not allowed to call at Japanese ports.