North Korea has made more of the kind of blood-curdling threats that the world found easier to shrug off before Pyongyang stepped up its nuclear program. The "Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee," North Korea's state agency for dealing with the outside world, issued a statement Thursday calling for the islands of Japan to be "sunken into the sea" with nuclear bombs and for the US mainland to be reduced to "ashes and darkness," the Guardian reports. "Japan is no longer needed to exist near us," said the committee's statement, which also called for the US to be "beaten to death like a rabid dog" and denounced the United Nations Security Council as a "tool of evil."
The committee called for the breakup of the Security Council, which imposed its toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea earlier this week. It called the council a "money-bribed" group that does whatever the US asks it to. Before the sanctions vote, which passed the 15-member council unanimously, Pyongyang warned that the US would face the "greatest pain" in its history. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Pyongyang's threat to sink the country is "extremely provocative and outrageous," the AP reports. The statement "significantly escalates tension in the region and is absolutely unacceptable," he said Thursday. (The world may have underestimated Pyongyang's latest nuclear test.)