Japan deploys missile defence to northern island


Japan deployed Tuesday an additional missile
defence system on its northern island of
Hokkaido, days after North Korea launched a
missile over the island, sparking emergency
warnings to take cover .

“As part of measures to prepare for
emergencies, we will today deploy a PAC -3
unit” to a base of the nation ’s Ground Self-
Defense Force in the southern tip of Hokkaido ,
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told
reporters.

The Patriot Advanced Capability -3 system
arrived at the base later on Tuesday , a local
defence official told AFP.
The move came 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.

North Korea “ may take further provocative
actions including launching ballistic missiles
that would fly over Japan again in the future ”,
Onodera said, adding that his ministry “would
take appropriate measures to protect people ’s
safety” .
According to local officials , Japan has already
deployed the PAC -3 system to another part of
Hokkaido.

But defence officials declined to confirm where
in Japan other systems were deployed, citing
the sensitive nature of defence information .
North Korea has threatened to “ sink” Japan
into the sea and said Saturday it sought
military “ equilibrium ” with arch -enemy the
United States by developing a full nuclear
arsenal.

Hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
has said he would “ never tolerate ” the North’ s
“dangerous provocative action” and has urged
the international community to ramp up
pressure on Pyongyang.

The UN Security Council, which condemned the
launch as “ highly provocative, ” will hold a new
ministerial-level meeting Thursday on the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
focused on enforcing sanctions on the North
Korean regime . 

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