() — Japan’s Defense Ministry warned Monday that it will destroy any North Korean missile entering its territory, after Pyongyang notified the country of its plans to launch a “satellite” between May 31 and June 11.
“We will take destructive measures against ballistic and other missiles that are confirmed to land on our territory,” Japan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno also declared on Monday that any North Korean missile launch disguised as a “satellite” is a “threat” to the country’s security.
If North Korea goes ahead with its plan to launch a missile, it would violate UN Security Council resolutions and would be a “serious provocation,” Matsuno told reporters.
Matsuno said that the Japanese Ministry of Defense and the Self Defense Forces have already issued an order regarding the preparation of destructive measures against ballistic missiles.
In addition, the Defense Ministry is also taking other precautions, such as the deployment of PAC-3 units – missile defense land batteries in parts of Okinawa prefecture – and Aegis destroyers in waters near Japan’s Nansei Islands.
Matsuno added that Japan would work closely with the US and South Korea and urged Pyongyang to exercise restraint.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Monday that any missile launch by North Korea, even from a satellite, is an “important matter affecting the security of Japanese citizens.” and reiterated his willingness to hold talks with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un.