Orders Military To Strike Any New North Korea Missile Launches
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[April 05, 2014]
TOKYO (Reuters) — Japan has ordered
a destroyer in the Sea of Japan to strike any ballistic missiles that
may be launched by North Korea in the coming weeks after Pyongyang fired
a Rodong medium-range missile over the sea, a government source said on
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order on
Thursday, but did not make it public in order to avoid putting a
chill on renewed talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang, the first in
more than a year, local media reported earlier.
"The defense minister made the order from April 3rd through to the
25th to prepare for any additional missile launches," the source
Onodera, the source said, did not deploy Patriot missile batteries
that would be the last line of defense against incoming warheads.
Media reports said the North Korean-Japanese talks in Beijing this
week broke no new ground, but ended with an agreement for further
The firing of the Rodong coincided with a meeting in The Hague
between U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of South Korea
and Japan and followed a series of short-range rocket launches.
The launch appeared to be a show of defiance by North Korea.
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The missile fell into the sea after flying 650 km (400 miles), short
of a maximum range thought to be some 1,300 km.
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.
(Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; writing by Tim Kelly;
editing by Ron Popeski)
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