Daily Management Review

Japan Puts Military on Alert for Possible North Korea Missile Launch


05/30/2016




Japan Puts Military on Alert for Possible North Korea Missile Launch
Tension built up in South East Asia on Monday after South Korea said it had detected evidence of missile launch preparations by North Korea and Japan put its military on alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile firing, officials from Japan and South Korea said.
 
Ever since North Korea conducted a satellite launch and test launches of various missiles preceded by its fourth nuclear test in January, there has been palpable tension in the region.
 
Japan's NHK state broadcaster said that naval destroyers and anti-ballistic missile Patriot batteries were ordered to be ready so that any projectile heading for Japan could be shot down to protect the mainland of Japan.
 
The order by the Japanese government and defense ministry was confirmed by a Japanese official, who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media. A spokesman for Japan's defense ministry declined to comment.
 
The missile tubes of a Patriot missile battery on the grounds of Japan's Ministry of Defense had been elevated to a firing position.
 
While the South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said that the officials believe the potential missile would be an intermediate-range Musudan missile, the South Korean defense official declined to comment on what type of missile might be launched.
  
"We've detected a sign and are tracking that. We are fully prepared," said the South Korean official, who also declined to be identified.
 
According to U.S. and South Korean officials, North Korea tried unsuccessfully to test launch the Musudan three times in April.
 
After detecting signs of launches by North Korea, Japan has put its anti-ballistic missile forces on alert at least twice this year.
 
North Korea seems determined to press ahead with its weapons programs, despite the sanctions and the disapproval of its sole main ally, China which is evident form its actions even after its nuclear and missile tests this year triggered new U.N. sanctions against it.
 
Demands that North Korea comply with a U.N. Security Council resolution to stop all nuclear and missile tests and refrain from provocative action was made by leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama who had met in Japan last Friday.
 
After South Korea fired what it said were warning shots when boats from the North crossed the disputed sea border off the west coast of the Korean peninsula, North Korea threatened to retaliate against South Korea on the same day.
 
Armed with SM-3 missiles designed to destroy incoming warheads in space before they re-enter the atmosphere and fall to their targets and which are able to track multiple targets, Japan has advanced Aegis vessels in the Sea of Japan.
 
As a second round of defense, Patriot PAC-3 missile batteries that are designed to hit warheads near the ground, are deployed around Tokyo and other sites.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com) 






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