North Korea notifies neighboring Japan it plans to launch satellite in coming days
TOKYO (AP) — North Korea on Monday notified neighboring Japan that it plans to launch a satellite in coming days, which may be an attempt to put its first military reconnaissance satellite into orbit.
Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said he ordered Japan’s Self Defense Force to shoot down the satellite or debris, if any entered Japanese territory.
Japan’s coast guard said the notice it received from North Korean waterway authorities said the launch window was from May 31 to June 11, and that the launch may affect waters in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and east of the Philippines’ Luzon Island.
The coast guard issued a safety warning for ships in the area on those dates because of the possible risks from falling debris. Japan’s coast guard coordinates and distributes maritime safety information in East Asia, which is likely the reason it was the recipient of North Korea’s notice.
To launch a satellite into space, North Korea would have to use long-range missile technology banned by U.N. Security Council resolutions. Its past launches of Earth observation satellites were seen as disguised missile tests.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the launch would violate U.N. resolutions and was a “threat to the peace and safety of Japan, the region and the international community.”
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