Japan vows to shoot down future N. Korea missiles

Japan vows to shoot down future N. Korea missiles
Sat Apr 5, 2014 23:14:04

Tokyo has vowed to use of its destroyers in the Sea of Japan to shoot down future missile launches by North Korea that may potentially threaten Japan.

The order to intercept was issued on Thursday by Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, following North Korea’s launching of mid-range ballistic missiles over the sea last Saturday, and concerned any launches that may take place from April 3-25, the 82nd anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army, Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported Saturday.


The Aegis destroyer Kirishima, carrying Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) interceptors was dispatched to the Sea of Japan with orders to shoot down anything that ventured into Japanese territory.

This is the fifth interception order since 2009, all of which issued in response to North Korean missile tests, RT reported. 

The Rodong missiles launched by North Korea last Saturday stopped halfway in their maximum range of around 1,300km, plummeting into the sea after a 640km flight.
Japan’s own Aegis destroyers, the report adds, are well equipped to deal with such threats, with their advanced radar capacity for locking onto multiple targets.

Pyongyang’s defiant move to launch the Rodong came just as US President Barack Obama was meeting with South Korean and Japanese officials in The Hague to discuss earlier short-range launches by North Korea, which in late March fired 30 missiles into the Sea of Japan – the second time in a week, while neighboring South Korea was engaged in military drills with the United States.

North Korea, however, insists that its missile launch was in response to joint US-South Korea war games near the country, which Pyongyang regards as rehearsals to wage a military invasion of the country amid persisting exchange of hostile threats by both sides.

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