A member of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force stands guard next to a surface-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptor launcher vehicleInternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada has instructed the country’s Self-Defense Forces to be at enhanced readiness over a possible launch of a rocket carrying North Korea’s first military reconnaissance satellite over the Japanese territory, a Japanese news agency reported on Saturday, citing government sources. Earlier in the week, the North Korean state-run news agency said that the country’s leader Kim Jong-un had ordered the country’s first military reconnaissance satellite, which had been already completed, to be launched on a carrier rocket at the planned date. The news agency provided no details regarding the exact date of the launch. AsiaRussia, China Believe US, Allies Responsible for Escalation on Korean Peninsula17 April, 13:44 GMTJapan’s forces are expected to deploy the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system and destroyer warships equipped with Aegis and Standard Missile-3 systems to intercept North Korea’s rocket if necessary, according to media.
"We will make preparations to be able to respond to any circumstance that could cause damage to Japan," government sources told the Japanese news agency.
MultimediaNorth Korea Tests First Ever Solid-Fuel Hwasong-18 ICBM14 April, 16:33 GMTLast week, North Korea tested a new Hwansong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, which was launched toward the Sea of Japan, flying about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) and landing outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Japan, in turn, requested an emergency session of the UN Security Council and on Monday took part in missile defense exercises in the East Sea international waters together with the US and South Korea.