North Korean schools in Japan brace for fury over rocket launch

(From Kyodo)

Pro-Pyongyang Korean schools in Japan prepared for possible harassment or threat to their students Monday, the day after North Korea launched a rocket.

Students at a North Korean school in Toyohashi, near Nagoya, central Japan

Students at a North Korean school in Toyohashi, near Nagoya, central Japan, in this file photo

At a Korean elementary and junior high school in Osaka’s Higashiyodogawa Ward, teachers and police officers guarded commuting pupils and students at school gates.

“This is a place for children. We want to be left alone,” said a male worker at the school.

The 51-year-old father of a Korean school pupil in Hiroshima said, “Even though dangers to students have been reduced recently, I am still worried as a parent.”

He said he has “mixed feelings as a compatriot living in Japan” about North Korean nuclear tests or missile launches.

A Korean school teacher in Osaka said Pyongyang’s rocket launch was “part of the country’s space development program,” denying that it was a missile launch. “We shouldn’t make a fuss about it,” the teacher said.

In front of the Tokyo head office of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon, more police were mobilized than usual to guard the facility.

In 2002 after North Korea admitted it had abducted Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, and in 2006 after it launched ballistic missiles, some female students had their traditional Korean-style uniforms cut and schools received threatening phone calls hinting at killings.

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