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Japan on alert ahead of North Korea satellite launch

Japan,Defence/Security, Tue, 27 Mar 2012 IANS

Tokyo, March 27 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Japan's armed forces received an order to put on alert its missile interceptors ahead of a planned North Korean satellite launch in April, Japanese Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka said Tuesday.

 

The defense ministry has been already making preparations including deploying its Aegis-equipped destroyers and the land-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile systems on the Sakishima islands.

 

Minister Tanaka earlier warned that he might issue orders to shoot down the rocket if it posed a danger to Japan.

 

Earlier in the month, North Korea announced plans to launch an earth observation to mark the 100th birthday of its late founding leader Kim Il-sun in April.

 

The move is seen as a violation of a UN Security Council resolution and has drawn international condemnation. The US and other countries suspect that the launch is a thinly veiled ballistic missile test.

 

--IANS/RIA Novosti

 

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