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Old 03-27-2009, 09:58 PM   #4
Avalon Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 698
Default Re: Present North Korea event predicted last year, leading to war

Here's a more detailed report:

Japan prepares interception missiles
TOKYO, March 27 – Japan on Friday ordered its military to prepare to intercept any dangerous debris that might fall on its territory if a missile launch planned by Pyongyang goes wrong.

Pyongyang has said that between April 4-8 it will launch a satellite, but regional powers believe the real purpose is to test its longest-range missile, the Taepodong-2. It has already positioned what is believed to be the missile on a launch pad.

Japan national anthem dispute deepens - Mar-26N Korea missile on launch pad - Mar-26”I have issued an order ... to prepare to destroy any object that might fall on Japan as a result of an accident involving a flying object from North Korea,” Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters after a meeting of Japan’s Security Council.

North Korea this week put a long-range missile in place for the launch, which the United States has warned would violate UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for past weapons tests.

Top nuclear envoys from Japan, South Korea and the United States were to meet in Washington on Friday in a signal of growing concern over the possible launch, the first big test for US President Barack Obama in dealing with the prickly North.

Japan’s pacifist constitution does not allow it to intercept a missile if it is clearly heading elsewhere, but Tokyo would try to shoot down a missile aimed at Japanese territory and might try to intercept any debris that falls toward Japan.

Japan is expected to move ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors to northern Japan, which lies under the rocket’s trajectory, and deploy two Aegis-equipped destroyers with Standard Missile-3 interceptors off Japan’s coast.

North Korea has given international agencies notice of the rocket’s planned trajectory that would take it over Japan, dropping booster stages to its east and west.

The US military has said it could with ”high probability” intercept any North Korean missile heading for US territory, if ordered to do so. Pyongyang says any attempt to shoot down the rocket would be an act of war.

Japan has interceptors theoretically capable of shooting down a missile aimed at its territory, but analysts are divided on whether it can intercept free-falling debris that may fall toward Japan.

South Korea said the launch would be a serious challenge to security in north Asia, which accounts for one sixth of the global economy. Japan urged North Korea to refrain from action that would destablise the region.

The planned launch and growing tension on the Korean peninsula are beginning to worry financial markets in the South, although so far there has been only minor impact.

”If they really fire something, it would definitely shake the financial markets, but only briefly, as has been the case in many previous cases of provocation and clashes,” said Jung Sung-min, a fixed-income analyst at Eugene Futures.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a visit to Mexico earlier this week, said the launch would deal a blow to six-party talks to end Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

Those talks sputtered to a halt in December over disagreement on how to check the North was disabling its nuclear facilities.

North Korea warned that any action by the UN Security Council to punish it would be a ”hostile act”.

North Korea faces a range of UN sanctions and many analysts doubt new ones would get past China – the nearest Pyongyang has to a powerful ally – in the Security Council.

China, sticking to its low-key approach, said it hoped all ”relevant parties will remain restrained and calm”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also cautioned the international community against making rash decisions.

”Do not try to make evaluations before events have occurred,” he said in Moscow, while noting UN Security Council resolutions should be adhered to.

A successful launch would be a huge boost at home to leader Kim Jong-il, whose illness last year – widely thought to have been a stroke – has raised questions over his grip on power.
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