Japanese military on stand-by after North Korea tests missile in its waters
Japan ordered its military on Monday to be ready at any time to shoot down any North Korean missiles that threaten to strike Japan, putting its forces on a state of alert for at least three months.world Updated: Aug 09, 2016 07:01 IST
Japan ordered its military on Monday to be ready at any time to shoot down any North Korean missiles that threaten to strike Japan, putting its forces on a state of alert for at least three months, a defence ministry official and media said.
Up to now, Japan has issued temporary orders when it had indications of an imminent North Korean missile launch that it has cancelled after a projectile had been launched. However, because some test firings are hard to detect, it has decided to put its military on standby for a longer period. The order will be reviewed after three months, state broadcaster NHK said.
On August 3, North Korea had fired a ballistic missile directly into Japanese-controlled waters for the first time, drawing an outraged response from Tokyo and ramping up tensions with the United States and South Korea.
The US military said the North had actually launched two Rodong intermediate-range missiles simultaneously, but one appeared to have exploded on take-off.
“It’s a serious threat against our country’s security,” prime minister Shinzo Abe told reporters at the time. “This is an outrageous act that cannot be tolerated.”
The UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting regarding the missile launch, at the request of US and Japan.