JAPAN TO SHOOT DOWN N. KOREAN MISSILE IF STATE SECURITY ENDANGERED

TOKYO — Japan will destroy a North Korean missile if it posed a threat to the country’s security, the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) confirmed it had received North Korea’s notification of plans to launch a satellite between February 8 and 25. South Korea said Pyongyang was planning to launch a long-range missile.

“In order to prevent life and property damage [of the Japanese population], the necessary measures against the missiles will be deployed if it would be confirmed that it falls on the territory of our country,” the statement said.

According to the ministry, it plans to shoot down the missile with the SM-3 missile interceptors, installed on the ships equipped with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, or with Patriot surface-to-air missile systems.

Tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs escalated after Pyongyang said on Jan. 6 that it had successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, triggering condemnation from the international community. PNA/Sputnik/northboundasia.com