Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Trash collection goes high tech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to escalating violence in Gaza

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

  • Live: Germany take on Argentina, Messi and World Cup history

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • Germany’s Tony Martin wins ninth stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘an homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Japan to destroy any incoming N. Korean rockets

©

Video by Katherine SPENCER , Louis MASSIE

Latest update : 2009-03-27

The Japanese government has authorised the interception of any N. Korean rocket on its territory, fearing an imminent missile test. A conference with the US and S. Korea scheduled in Washington on Friday will address the rapidly escalating crisis.

AFP - Japan gave its military the green light on Friday to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket, with tensions high ahead of a planned launch that the US and allies say will be an illegal missile test.
  
Japanese and US warships have already deployed ahead of the April 4-8 window, when the secretive North has said it will launch a communications satellite.
  
Pyongyang has said any move to shoot it down would be an act of war.
  
But South Korea, Japan and the United States have all warned the North that any launch would be unacceptable, amid fears the regime is actually intending to test a long-range missile that could reach North America.
  
The security council in Japan, where pacificism has been official policy since the end of World War II, decided ahead of time to shoot down any incoming missile that could hit its territory rather than wait until a launch.
  
"The security council this morning decided to issue a destruction order in advance," said Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada.
  
"We will do our best to handle any flying object from North Korea."
  
The North said Thursday that even referring a launch to the United Nations would ruin the long-running and erratic six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, during which North Korea has already tested one missile and an atomic bomb.
  
US National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said the North wanted to show it had the technology to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile.
  
The North is believed to be preparing to test a Taepodong-2 that could hit Alaska.
  
"North Korea is attempting to demonstrate an ICBM capability through a space launch," Blair said. "That's what they are up to."
  
Pyongyang has reportedly already put a rocket onto one of its launch pads, raising the stakes in a delicate diplomatic stand-off that has come just two months into the new US administration of President Barack Obama.
  
Enigmatic North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was reported to have suffered a stroke in August, and some analysts speculate he is trying to demonstrate he remains firmly in control of the country.
  
Though a recent photo showed him looking thin, the North's official media have reported more than three times as many public appearances by Kim so far this year than over the same period in the previous year.
  
The six-nation talks -- grouping North and South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan -- have offered the North aid and security guarantees in exchange for dismantling its nuclear programme.
  
North Korea said Thursday that bringing any launch to the United Nations would be a "hostile action" that would end the negotiations.
  
The United States, which says the launch would violate a UN Security Council resolution, has vowed to do so.
  
"The six-party talks will become non-existent," a spokesman for the North's foreign ministry told official media.
  
Senior US, Japanese and South Korean negotiators were to meet in Washington later Friday to discuss the situation. Japan's order for a shoot-down is the first since the nation revised its defence law in 2005.
  
Asked whether Japan was capable of such an intercept, Defence Minister Hamada said: "We have obviously prepared to be able to do it. I have no doubt we can do it."
 

Date created : 2009-03-27

Comments

COMMENT(S)