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S Korea warns to destroy N Korean rocket


South Korea will deploy two Aegis destroyers to shoot down the DPRK rocket. A file photo

SEOUL (BNS): South Korea has warned that it will shoot down a North Korean rocket if it deviates from its path and flies over its territory during a planned launch next month.

Amidst escalating tensions over Pyongyang's plans to orbit a satellite, which some countries believe is a long-range ballistic missile launch, Seoul on Monday said that it will deploy two of its Aegis destroyers in the west coast to destroy the rocket.

"We are exploring measures to intercept a North Korean rocket booster in case it veers off its normal trajectory," a Defence Ministry official was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

The Navy's two 7,600-ton destroyers will track down the rocket's path and shoot down the rocket booster if necessary, with the Standard Missile-2, the report said.

North Korea has announced its plans to launch an Unha-3 rocket between April 12 and 16 to orbit an Earth observation satellite for "peaceful purposes". It has said that a safe flight orbit has been chosen so that carrier rocket debris to be generated during the flight would not have any impact on neighbouring countries.

However, the US and its allies, including Japan, believe it to be a disguised missile test in violation of UN resolutions.

Japan is also mulling to deploy land and sea-based interceptor missiles if the rocket violates its airspace.

Unfazed by global concerns, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has transported the main body of the long-range rocket to a site in North Pyongan Province in the northwest of the country, in preparation for the launch.

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