Japan says ready to shoot down North Korean missile
Fri, 27 Mar 2009
Senior US, Japanese and South Korean negotiators were to meet in Washington later Friday to discuss the situation. Japan’s order for a shoot-down is the first since the nation revised its defence law in 2005.
Asked whether Japan was capable of such an intercept, Hamada said: “We have obviously prepared to be able to do it. I have no doubt we can do it.”
Republished from AFP
Saber rattling becoming more serious
Tokyo (AFP) — Japan gave its military the green light on Friday to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket, with tensions high ahead of a planned launch that the US and allies say will be an illegal missile test.
Japanese and US warships have already deployed ahead of the April 4-8 window, when the secretive North has said it will launch a communications satellite — warning that shooting it down would be seen as an act of war.
But South Korea, Japan and the United States have all warned the North that any launch would be unacceptable, amid fears the regime is actually intending to test a long-range missile that could reach North America.
Russia — which with the two Koreas, China, Japan and the US is part of a six-party forum working on the North’s nuclear disarmament — urged Pyongyang not to carry out the launch, saying there was no need to “ignite passions”.
The security council in Japan, officially pacifist since the end of World War II, decided ahead of time to shoot down any incoming missile that could hit its territory rather than wait until a launch.
AFP: Japan says ready to shoot down NKorea missile