April 8, 2009

Japan's Response to North Korea's Launch

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Japan has responded to North Korea's announcement that it intends to launch a communication satellite between April 4 and April 8, by mobilizing its missile defense system for the first time in the country's history. Although North Korea maintains it will launch a Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite into orbit, the United States, Japan, and South Korea suspect the launch is a cover story for a Taepodong-2 long-range ballistic missile test.

On March 31, both houses of the Japanese parliament unanimously adopted a resolution calling for North Korea to cancel the planned launch. The resolution states that the launch would "damage peace and stability not only in Japan but also in northeast Asia" and "simply cannot be tolerated."

Four days earlier, Prime Minister Taro Aso gave...

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TAGGED: Japan, North Korea, United States, South Korea, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Sea of Japan, Japanese government, Japanese parliament, Asia, communication satellite

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