Japan is preparing to intercept any North Korean missile that enters its territory, according to a statement from the country’s defence ministry. This announcement comes after North Korea informed Japan of its intention to launch a satellite between May 31 and June 11. The defence ministry stated it would use its Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) or Patriot Missile PAC-3 to destroy any North Korean missile entering Japanese territory.
North Korea claims to have completed its first military spy satellite, with leader Kim Jong Un approving the final preparations for its launch. Analysts suggest that a military satellite would boost North Korea’s surveillance capabilities and enhance its ability to target adversaries in the event of war.
“We will take destructive measures against ballistic and other missiles that are confirmed to land in our territory,” the Japanese defence ministry said in a statement.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, expressed concern over the potential satellite launch, stating that it would affect the safety of Japanese citizens.
“The government recognises that there is a possibility that the satellite may pass through our country’s territory,” he said during a press conference.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasised that any North Korean missile launch would be a severe violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. “We strongly urge North Korea to refrain from launching,” the prime minister’s office said on Twitter, adding that Japan would cooperate “with relevant countries such as the US and South Korea.”
As a steadfast US ally, Japan is committed to gathering and analysing information from the launch. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a military satellite facility in May, as reported by North Korean state media KCNA.
In the past, North Korean media has criticized U.S., South Korean, and Japanese intentions to share real-time information on its missile launches, saying the three nations are debating “sinister measures” to enhance military coordination.
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