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Japan to shoot down N Korea rocket if passes over territory


An unrelated file photo.

TOKYO (PTI): Japan will shoot down the North Korean rocket, if it passes over its territory or waters, the country's Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka has said.

"I am considering ordering the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to shoot down the rocket," Kyodo quoted Tanaka as telling the parliament on Monday.

Tokyo's threat of bringing down the rocket comes as Pyongyang has announced that it intends to lodge a long range rocket next month to put a satellite into orbit, but Washington and its allies considers the move as a thinly veiled missile test that would breach a UN ban.

Leading Japanese newspapers have reported that Japan may deploy its Aegis-class warships in the South-China sea. The US made warships are equipped with surface-to-air PAC-3 Patriot missiles capable of intercepting incoming rockets.

"We will take the (necessary) procedures in the event of a contingency that threatens our country's security," Tanaka said.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said at the same upper house budget session that "the possibility cannot be ruled out that it will pass over areas in Okinawa Prefecture such as the Nansei Islands."

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Japan  N Korea  Rocket  

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