Japan Is Preparing for Possible Interception of NKorean Satellite
Japan on Friday announced it was making ready defense to intercept the North Korean satellite, which is about to be launched in m-April, should it malfunction and collapse on Japanese territory. Naoki Takana, the Japanese Defense Minister, announced that he ordered that surface-to-air PAC-3 and destroyer carrying missiles Aegis to be prepared to deploy.
Japan is taking these precautions as a result of the estimates of the experts, who said that the rocket may not have benefited from the highest technology, given that it is entirely domestic made.
In 2009, NKorea launched another satellite, which is said to have hit the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Pyongyang said that the satellite is in orbit broadcasting the speeches of founding president Kim Il-sung. The airspace agency say there is no sign of such a satellite in the skies.
North Korea announced last week that it would place a satellite into orbit, a move considered by the United States and the neighbors in the region as a pretext to foster its nuclear program, banned by the United Nation, which announced that the new move could endanger the food program for the Communist country, which faces severe food shortage.
The Philippines demanded the United States to help it monitor the trajectory of the rocket, considering that North Korea announced that the second stage of it would go down in the waters of the Philippines.
In an announcement to the International Maritime Organization that the first stage of the rocket would fall somewhere between China and South Korea, and the second would fall off the Philippines coast.
The move by NKorea comes at a time when the American president is expected to be in Seoul for a talk on nuclear weapons, where NKorean program is to be discussed with leaders from China, Japan and Russia.
The NKorean media deemed the meeting on atomic weapons in Seoul as a smear campaign, and a leading newspaper called it “burlesque.”
South Korean secretary general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon said he would raise the problem of the rocket launch at the Seoul meeting. He said that the launch would discourage the international donors to help NKorea with food.
Such an action, he said, would undermine the real diplomatic progress, and would worsen the humanitarian situation in the Communist country. Pyongyang insists that the program is completely peaceful and is aimed solely at celebrating the 100th anniversary of Kim Il-sung.
Ban Ki-moon said that the launch of the satellite was a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. In 2009, the launch was followed by a criticism of the international community. NKorea responded with a testing of nuclear weapons, which led then to a UNSC resolution and sanctions against the regime.
The United States said that it was not sure that it could continue its humanitarian program if NKorea launches the rocket. 240,000 tonnes of food aid are to be delivered by Washington to NKorea, which is confronted with a severe food shortage.
Pyongyang seemed eager to discuss its nuclear program a few weeks back, and even showed availability to institute a moratorium on nuclear weapons in exchange for food. The new development seems to indicate a new turn in NKorea’s desire to cooperate.11