Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#THE 51%

The mistress hunters

Read more

ENCORE!

Michael Fassbender is author Philip Kerr's pick to play Bernie Gunther

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Growing ambitions: The forces driving India's economy

Read more

REVISITED

Ecuador: The rush for oil in Yasuni National Park

Read more

FASHION

When fashion meets technology

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The real top chef: Meeting the French president's cook

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Crimean dissidents silenced by Moscow

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

France refuses to return cultural artifacts to Benin

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France's Fillon insists President Hollande is behind efforts to tarnish him

Read more

Asia-pacific

Military threatens to attack Japan if rocket intercepted

Video by James CREEDON

Latest update : 2009-04-02

North Korea's military threatened on Thursday to attack Japan if it tries to shoot down a rocket that the communist state is planning to launch imminently. Fuelling of the rocket is said to have begun, according to reports.

AFP - North Korea's military threatened Thursday to attack Japan if it makes any attempt to shoot down a satellite that the communist state is planning to launch imminently.
  
"Our revolutionary armed forces... will not hesitate to mount retaliatory strikes if hostile forces show the slightest signs of moving to shoot down our satellite," said a statement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff carried by official media.
  
"If Japan loses its senses and carries out the shooting of our peaceful satellite, the people's army will deliver storms of fire in retaliatory strikes not only against already-deployed anti-missile weaponry but Japan's key facilities."
  
The statement on the official Korean Central News Agency also told the United States to "immediately withdraw the armed forces it has deployed if it wants to avoid damage."
  
The communist state has announced it will send up a communications satellite between April 4-8 as part of a peaceful space programme.
  
The United States and its Asian allies say this is a pretext to test a Taepodong-2 ballistic missile, which could in theory reach Alaska or Hawaii, in violation of UN resolutions.
  
Japan has deployed anti-missile systems to try to bring down the rocket should it start falling toward Japanese territory, but the United States says it does not intend to try an intercept.
  
Japan has dispatched three Aegis destroyers, two of them fitted with ballistic missile interceptors, to waters around its islands, as well as Patriot guided-missile units to select locations in the country.
  
The US has also positioned an unspecified number of Aegis-class warships in the area and media reports say South Korea has sent an Aegis destroyer.
  
The North has previously warned that any interception will mean war.

Date created : 2009-04-02

COMMENT(S)