Naha (Japan): Japan on Saturday started pulling out ballistic missile interceptors from Okinawa that it had deployed to defend against the possibility of parts of a North Korean rocket falling onto its territory.
The Self-Defence Forces put one of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles into a transport vessel in Okinawa`s Nakagusuku Port in the morning, after no damage resulted from the long-range rocket launched Wednesday or its debris.
By Sunday, all of the PAC-3 missiles deployed at four locations in Okinawa Prefecture will be pulled out to other parts of Japan, according to defence officials.
On Wednesday, no PAC-3 missiles were fired.
The launch of the three-stage rocket, which North Korea says successfully put an earth observation satellite into orbit, was in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
Japan, the United States and many countries believe that it was a disguised test of the North`s ballistic missile technology. (Kyodo)