Japan’s ballistic missile defences went on high alert on Monday after North Korea informed it that a satellite launch between May 31 and June 11 was planned. Japan determined to take down any projectile that would attack its territory.
North Korea, a nuclear-equipped country, have built its first military spy satellite, as it says, and North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un has given the go-ahead for the launch.
In its latest launch, North Korea will test a brand-new intercontinental ballistic missile with solid fuel. This would be part of its recent weapons test and missile launches in the last few months.
A representative for the defence ministry stated that Japan anticipates North Korea to launch the rocket carrying its satellite over the southwest island chain, same as happened in 2016. In a statement, Japan’s defence ministry said, “We will take destructive measures against ballistic and other missiles that are confirmed to land in our territory.”
It further stated that Japan would shoot down a North Korean missile using either its Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) or Patriot Missile PAC-3.
According to analysts, the new satellite is a component of a drone-based surveillance technology initiative that aims to increase the effectiveness of military strikes on targets.
According to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, any North Korean missile launch would infringe the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, as the PM denounced its nuclear and missile activity.
His office issued a statement on Twitter saying, “We strongly urge North Korea to refrain from launching,” and that it will work with South Korea, a US ally, and other nations to gather and evaluate data from any launch.
Japan and South Korea have urged North Korea to abandon its scheduled satellite launch.
In a statement urging the North to abandon its “illegal” launch plan, a spokesperson for South Korea’s foreign ministry said, “If North Korea presses forward, it will pay the price and suffer.”
The ministry claimed that Kim Gunn, South Korea’s special representative for matters relating to peace and security on the peninsula, talked on the matter on a phone call with representatives from Japan and the United States. They decided to cooperate closely in directing a concerted international response to Pyongyang’s intended satellite launch, it said.
North Korea’s two successful “earth observation” satellites were placed in the orbit in the past, the most recent being in 2016. The nuclear armed country tried to launch these satellites many times before. According to the KCNA state news agency, its leader, Kim, visited a military satellite facility in May.
In April, Japan sent a destroyer with SM-3 interceptors—which can strike targets in space—to the East China Sea and sent PAC-3 missiles—which can strike warheads that are closer to the ground—to the Okinawan Islands.
After the North informed the Japanese coast guard of the plan, Hirokazu Matsuno, the chief cabinet secretary, said at a regular briefing, “The government recognises that there is a possibility that the satellite may pass through our country’s territory.”
State-run media in North Korea has blasted rivals Japan, South Korea, and the United States for wanting to exchange real-time information on its missile launches, claiming that the three countries are talking about “sinister measures” to increase military cooperation.