Japan urges North Korea to refrain from satellite launch
North korea says it has completed its first military spy satellite and leader Kim Jong Un has approved final preparations for the launch.
However, Japan has placed its ballistic missile defences on alert on Monday and warned that it would shoot down any projectile that threatened its territory after North Korea notified Japan of a satellite launch between May 31 and June 11.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told newsmen that any North Korean missile launch would be a serious violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning its nuclear and missile activity.
“We strongly urge North Korea to refrain from launching,” his office said in a post on Twitter, adding it would cooperate with its U.S. ally, South Korea and other countries, and would do all it could to collect and analyse information from any launch,” he said.
Also, analysts say the satellite is part of a surveillance technology programme, that includes drones, aimed at improving nuclear-armed North Korea’s ability to strike targets in the event of war.
“We will take destructive measures against ballistic and other missiles that are confirmed to land in our territory,” Japan’s defence ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said it would use its Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) or Patriot Missile PAC-3 to destroy a North Korea missile.
South Korea also joined Japan in calling for North Korea to scrap the planned satellite launch.
“We urge North Korea to withdraw the illegal plan to launch immediately. If North Korea presses ahead, it will pay the price and suffer,” a spokesperson for South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Reclusive North Korea has conducted a series of missile launches and weapons tests in recent months, including a new, solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile.
Its leader, Kim, in May inspected a military satellite facility, the North’s KCNA state news agency reported.