Japan extends ‘destroy order’ for North Korean missiles

Lazy eyes listen


After North Korea threatened to launch another military satellite, Japan’s Defense Ministry ordered the indefinite extension of an order to track and destroy any rocket, ballistic missile, or debris that could pose a threat to the country’s territory.

“We will temporarily extend the order on the implementation of measures to destroy ballistic missiles, issued on May 29, 2023, for the period after June 11, 2023,” the Defense Ministry announced on Sunday.

The original shootdown order was given by Tokyo in late May, after Pyongyang informed the Japanese Coast Guard of its intention to launch a military satellite into orbit. The Japanese military then deployed Patriot missile defense systems produced in the United States to its southwestern islands, as well as Aegis navy destroyers armed with SM-3 interceptors to the East China Sea.

On May 31, North Korea confirmed that a rocket carrying its Malligyong-1 military satellite had landed into the Yellow Sea owing to a “malfunction.”

Following the setback, Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s prominent sister, stated that she was “certain that the DPRK’s military reconnaissance satellite will be correctly placed in space orbit in the near future and begin its mission.”

South Korea is particularly concerned about a possible second launch because “[even] though the notice period is over, North Korea can launch a long-range ballistic missile at any time without prior notice,” according to a senior presidential official quoted by Yonhap. Following the botched launch, the South Korean military allegedly recovered and rescued some of the debris, and photographs of what seemed to be a big barrel-like liquid fuel tank were released.

Pyongyang is prohibited by a UN Security Council resolution from utilizing ballistic missile technology for any purpose, including satellite launches. Earlier this month, the US encouraged other council members to join it in criticizing North Korea’s “unlawful behavior.” Washington also urged the UN Security Council to prevent Pyongyang from attempting another satellite launch.

However, Russia and China have declined to sanction Pyongyang, claiming that its activities are motivated by legitimate security concerns.