Japan deployed three guided missile destroyers Saturday with orders to
shoot down any debris from a North Korean rocket that might stray into
Meanwhile, the United States, Japan and South
Korea have agreed that any launch would be immediately brought up in
the United Nations Security Council.
The three countries have
all said North Korea is using the planned launch to test its ballistic
missile capability in violation of U.N. resolutions. North Korea says
it intends to launch a communications satellite between April 4 and
Japan deployed two warships to the Sea of Japan,
which separates Japan from North Korea. The ships have radar and
weapons systems designed to shoot down enemy missiles, the Aegis
A third Japanese destroyer was deployed to the Pacific Ocean where the North Korean rocket is expected to return to earth.
also began deploying land based anti-missile defenses Friday while news
reports said the U.S. Navy was moving ships with anti-missile
capabilities - the Aegis system - to waters around Japan.
defense minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said his government has ordered its
military to shoot down dangerous debris that might fall on Japanese
territory during the launch.
Officials also say Japan is moving several (PAC-3) Patriot land-to-air missiles to its northern coast.
international intelligence publication, Jane's Defense Weekly, said
Friday that satellite imagery shows North Korea is nearing the final
phases of preparing for its rocket launch. It said recent activity at
the launch site suggests the mission is on or even ahead of schedule.