North Korea has accused Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of whipping up anti-Pyongyang hysteria to get re-elected in the recent snap polls. Abe had repeatedly played up security challenges faced by Japan to win domestic support, the North Korean state media claimed.
Abe's governing coalition recently clinched a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament after his gamble to declare snap elections paid off. Shortly after the election victory, Abe insisted his newly emboldened government would "deal firmly" with North Korea, which has been raising tensions in the region.
In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang's Korea-Asia Pacific Peace Committee said Abe's ruling bloc "kicked up a hysteric anti-(Pyongyang) racket, noisily trumpeting about the story of nuclear threat from the north and solution to the abduction of Japanese".
Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner secured 285 seats in the 465-member assembly in the election the campaign theme of which was security matters and the domestic economy.
"It is a trite trick used by the sinister and crafty Japanese reactionaries to kick up an anti-DPRK [the Democratic People's Republic of Korea – North Korea's official name] smear campaign in order to mislead the public...and maintain power whenever they are thrown into a serious ruling crisis due to political inability and all kinds of corruption and irregularities," the statement added.
One of Abe's senior lawmakers himself had credited the election victory to North Korea's rising threats, but withdrew his comment in the face of mounting criticism.
The North Korean mouthpiece continued: "Abe and his group should know that they are playing a dangerous gamble by putting the prospect of their island country and the destiny of their people at stake."
North Korea's diatribe against Abe comes at a time when US President Donald Trump is scheduled to tour key Asian countries in the next few days.