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Japan orders military to strike any new North Korea missile launches

Published on Apr 5, 2014 1:01 PM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan has ordered a destroyer in the Sea of Japan to strike any ballistic missiles that may be launched by North Korea in the coming weeks after Pyongyang fired a Rodong medium-range missile over the sea, a government source said on Saturday.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order on Thursday, but did not make it public in order to avoid putting a chill on renewed talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang, the first in more than a year, local media reported earlier.

"The defence minister made the order from April 3rd through to the 25th to prepare for any additional missile launches," the source said.

Onodera, the source said, did not deploy Patriot missile batteries that would be the last line of defence against incoming warheads.

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