A North Korean state agency said Thursday that Pyongyang should use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and turn the United States into “ashes and darkness” as the country stepped up its threatening rhetoric in reaction to new United Nations sanctions over its nuclear program.

“The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us,” the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said in a statement published by the North’s KCNA news agency.

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The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee is the North’s official propaganda arm and is also notionally responsible for managing ties with international partners. Juche, which translates as “self-reliance,” is Pyongyang’s ruling ideology. It’s a blend of Marxism and hyper-nationalism and is the brainchild of leader Kim Jong Un’s late grandfather, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s first president who led the country until his death in 1994. 

The UN sanctions were passed this week in the wake of North Korea’s sixth, and possibly most powerful, nuclear test earlier this month, and after Kim threatened to launch missiles over Japan into the Pacific and toward the U.S. territory of Guam. The moves have elicited a series of counter-threats from President Trump, although the possibility of war remains remote. In its statement, the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee…