Japan will strike any North Korean missile deemed dangerous

Japan's defense minister issued an order this week to prepare for any additional missile launches from North Korea, following Pyongyang's recent test of a medium-range missile and its exchange of live artillery rounds with South Korea.

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP/File
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, (r.), reviews members of Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) during the Self-Defense Forces Day at Asaka Base, north of Tokyo in October 2013. Japan will strike any North Korean ballistic missile that threatens to hit Japan in the coming weeks the government announced Saturday.

Japan will strike any North Korean ballistic missile that threatens to hit Japan in the coming weeks after Pyongyang recently fired medium-range missiles, a government source said on Saturday.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order, which took effect on Thursday and runs through April 25, the day that marks the founding of North Korea's army, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Following the order, meant "to prepare for any additional missile launches," a destroyer was dispatched to the Sea of Japan and will fire if North Korea launches a missile that Tokyo deems in danger of striking or falling on Japanese territory, the source said.

Tensions have been building between North Korea and its neighbours since Pyongyang – in an apparent show of defiance – fired two Rodong missiles on March 26, just as the leaders of JapanSouth Korea and theUnited States were sitting down to discuss containing the North Korean nuclear threat.

That first firing in four years of mid-range missiles that can hit Japan followed a series of short-range rocket launches over the past two months. The Rodong ballistic missiles fell into the sea after flying 650 km (400 miles), short of a maximum range thought to be some 1,300 km, Japan said.

Since then, North Korea has rattled sabres by firing artillery rounds into South Korean waters, prompting the South to fire back; South Korea has test-fired a new ballistic missile with a range of 500 km; and Pyongyang has threatened an unspecified "new form" of nuclear test.

At the same time, Japan and North Korea resumed talks - suspended since Pyongyang test-launched a long-range missile more than a year ago - over the North's nuclear and missile programmes, as well as the fate of Japanese abducted in the 1970s and 1980s to help train North Korean spies.

Onodera has avoided publicly announcing the new missile-intercept order so as not to put a chill on those talks, Japanese media said.

He also did not deploy Patriot missile batteries that would be the last line of defence against incoming warheads, the source told Reuters.

Japanese Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan are equipped with advanced radar equipment able to track multiple targets and carry missiles designed to take out targets at the edge of space.

Writing by Tim Kelly and William Mallard

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Japan will strike any North Korean missile deemed dangerous
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2014/0405/Japan-will-strike-any-North-Korean-missile-deemed-dangerous
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe