Japan deploys missile defences in Tokyo

Last Updated: Sunday, April 8, 2012 - 12:16

Tokyo: Japan has deployed missile
batteries in Tokyo and dispatched destroyers carrying
interceptor missiles as it boosts its defences against a
planned North Korean rocket launch this month.

Pyongyang says it will launch a satellite for peaceful
scientific research between April 12 and 16 to mark the 100th
anniversary on April 15 of the birth of founding leader Kim
Il-sung.

But the United States and its allies say it is a
disguised missile test and that the launch would contravene UN
sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea`s missile programme.
Patriot missiles were Saturday deployed at three
military facilities in the greater Tokyo region and the
defence ministry dispatched three Aegis destroyers carrying
sea-based interceptor missiles, reportedly to the East China
sea.

"With the latest step, it completes the deployment of
PAC3," said a duty officer at the defence ministry, referring
to the Patriot missiles.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has given the
green light to shoot down the North Korean rocket if it
threatens Japan`s territory.

In 2009, Japan also ordered missile defence
preparations before Pyongyang`s last long-range rocket launch
which brought UN Security Council condemnation and tightened
sanctions against the isolated communist state.

That rocket, which North Korea also said was aimed at
putting a satellite into orbit, passed over Japanese territory
without incident or any attempt to shoot it down.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 8, 2012 - 12:16

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