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Japan Deploys Patriot Missiles Ahead of N.Korea Launch

RIA Novosti [1]
December 5, 2012

A Japanese naval transport ship has delivered Patriot missile interceptor systems [2] to the southern island of Ishigaki to counter any threat posed by North Korea’s planned space launch, Kyodo reported.

The JDS Kunisaki delivered two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 systems to Ishigaki, which is located about 400 kilometers southwest of Okinawa. Patriots will also be deployed on Okinawa.

North Korea’s KCNA news agency reported last week that a Kwangmyongsong-3 Earth observation satellite will be launched by an Unha-3 carrier rocket from the Sohae Space Center between December 10 and 22.

The Japanese military maintains that its air defense capabilities are being readied not to shoot down the Korean rocket, but to destroy any spacecraft elements or debris that might threaten Japanese territory if the rocket deviates from its planned trajectory.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported earlier on Wednesday that North Korea completed pre-launch assembly of all three stages of the long-range rocket.

Full story here. [1]