SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Wednesday blasted Japan for its crimes against Koreans during the 1910-45 colonial rule period, calling it a "shameless country" that continues to refuse to apologize for its past wrongdoings.
"There is such a shameless country as Japan which swims against the trend. Japan still refuses to admit, apologize for and make reparation for the monstrous crimes against the Korean people, other peoples of Asian countries and mankind," the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary.
"Japan's past history is a crime-woven history of aggression, war, plunder and massacre," it added.
Pyongyang periodically denounces Tokyo for its past wrongdoings, but the latest attack comes amid Japan's diplomatic and economic feud with South Korea over Seoul court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to pay compensation to Koreans for forced labor during the Japanese colonial rule of Korea.
Japan has removed South Korea from its list of trusted trade partners and restricted shipments to its neighbor of three key materials used to produce semiconductors and display panels in apparent retaliation, though it insists the steps were strictly trade-related.
The KCNA noted Japan had robbed Korea of its sovereign rights, along with a "huge amount of natural resources and priceless cultural assets," hundreds of which it said are still displayed at the Ueno Museum in Tokyo.
"The plunder of cultural assets of Korea by the Japanese imperialists is not mere property plunder by individuals but a hideous state-sponsored crime designed to obliterate the Korean nation by dint of the government power and military power and an unpardonable international crime contrary to international laws," said the commentary.
"Japan's attempt to flee from the responsibility for its foul past doubles anti-Japanese sentiments of the Korean people and mankind with sore affliction and scars. Japan should stop the foolish act of challenging the current of the times and history and immediately atone for its past," it added.