Japan PM orders alert over N Korea’s planned earth satellite launch
Tokyo: In response to North Korea’s plan to launch an ‘earth observation satellite’ in December, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has ordered relevant ministries to take every possible precaution to ensure public’s safety.
Noda also indicated his readiness to urge Pyongyang, in cooperation with the United States, South Korea, China and Russia, not to go ahead with the launch, according to government officials.
According to the Japan Times, the officials said that Tokyo will also urge Pyongyang to show restraint over its plan at bilateral director-general level talks in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday.
The planned launch, expected to take place between December 10 and 22, would be the second time North Korea has tested a long-range rocket, the report said.
In April, Pyongyang’s attempted to send what it claimed was another satellite into orbit backfired spectacularly, with the three-stage rocket exploding about a minute after takeoff and showering debris over the Yellow Sea off South Korea, the report added.
The international community widely viewed that launch as a disguised ballistic missile test.
According to the report, Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto convened a meeting of his senior officials, apparently to discuss how to deal with the threat of the North’s rocket possibly disintegrating over Japanese territory.