North Korea poses the "severest" security threat to Japan since the Second World War, according to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Japan's leader made the comments during a New Year news conference.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the security environment surrounding Japan is at its severest since the Second World War. I will protect the people's lives and peaceful living in any situation," he said, according to The Independent).

Abe has promised to bolster Japanese defence capabilities in the wake of North Korea's "unacceptable" provocations.

I will protect the people's lives and peaceful living in any situation," he added.

In September, the rogue state conducted its most powerful test yet, amid a war of words with US President Donald Trump. The nation has also fired multiple missiles over Japan which landed in the sea.

North Korea's 3 September test, was testing an H-bomb according to Pyongyang, with experts led to believe the explosion was 10-times more powerful that caused by the bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima to end the Second World War in 1945.

Japan increased its military budget for the sixth year in row in December, upping spend by 1.3% to 5.19 trillion yen (£34bn). Much of the money is to be spent on improvements to ballistic missile defences and warning systems.

Abe has said that he wishes to alter Japan's pacifist constitution - in place since the end of World War II - in light of the situation, however the public is divided over the issue.

"It is absolutely unacceptable that North Korea is trampling the strong desire of Japan and the rest of the international community for peaceful resolutions and continuing with its provocative behaviour," Abe said.

The escalation in North Korea's actions lines up with the swearing in of President Trump, who has been unable to comment on the country and its leader Kim Jong-Un.

Having already called him "Rocket Man", the back and forth got weirder during the New Year period when bragged about the size and power of his "Nuclear Button" compared to that on Jong-Un.

"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the "Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times." Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" he wrote on 3 January.