Japan to deploy more missile defense system in Hokkaido
Japan is set to deploy on Tuesday an additional missile defense system on its northern island of Hokkaido days after North Korea launched a missile over the island, a defense ministry official told Agence France Press.
Defense ministry spokesman Kensaku Mizuseki said they are deploying a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system “at about noon” to a base of the nation’s Ground Self-Defense Force in the southern tip of Hokkaido.
According to local officials, Japan has already deployed the PAC-3 missile defense system to another part of Hokkaido.
But Mizuseki declined to confirm where in Japan were the other PAC-3 systems were deployed, citing the sensitive nature of the information.
Japan’s move comes with tensions on the Korean peninsula at fever-pitch after Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test and fired two missiles over Japan in the space of less than a month, sparking emergency warnings to take cover.
North Korea has threatened to “sink” Japan into the sea and said on Saturday that it sought military “equilibrium” with arch-enemy the United States by developing a full nuclear arsenal.
For his part, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he would “never tolerate” North Korea’s “dangerous provocative action” and has urged the international community to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang.
The United Nations Security Council, which condemned the launch as “highly provocative,” will hold a new ministerial-level meeting on Thursday regarding the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, focused on enforcing sanctions on the North Korean regime. /kga
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