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Japan to strike incoming North Korean missiles: Report

Published on Apr 6, 2014 6:10 PM
 
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera (third from right) speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (not pictured) at the Japanese Minister of Defense headquarters in Tokyo on April 6, 2014. Japan's defence chief has ordered the armed forces to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missiles that threaten to hit the country, according to media reports. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's defence chief has ordered the armed forces to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missiles that threaten to hit the country, according to media reports.

Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order on Thursday - without publicly announcing it - after North Korea launched two medium-range ballistic missiles on March 26 towards the Sea of Japan (East Sea), Kyodo News and other media said on Saturday, quoting a government source.

A mid-range missile fired from North Korea would be capable of reaching Japan.

Under the order, the country's so-called Self-Defence Forces will destroy North Korean ballistic missiles "if any are launched and threaten to fall within Japanese territory", Kyodo said.

 
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