Japan Gets Ready for North Korea Missile Launch
A Japanese naval transport ship has delivered Patriot missile interceptor systems to the southern island of Ishigaki to counter any threat posed by North Korea's planned space launch.
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, RIA Novosti informs.
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.
It was reported earlier on Wednesday that North Korea completed pre-launch assembly of all three stages of a long-range rocket.
In November, the digital DigitalGlobe company, which provides commercial satellite imagery to the US government and foreign governments, released a new image it claimed showed increased activity at North Korea's Sohae (West Sea) satellite launch station.