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Japan deploys interceptors for launch

[ 2012-04-10 10:55]     字号 [] [] []  
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Japan completed the deployment of interceptor missiles on Monday, the country's Defense Ministry said, as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has moved all three stages of a long-range rocket into position for a controversial satellite launch.

Japan's Self-Defense Force has installed ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors on islands and in Tokyo, Xinhua News Agency cited a ministry's official as saying. In addition, three Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyers are on their way to the East China Sea, according to the ministry.

The DPRK has announced plans to launch an observation satellite using a three-stage rocket between Thursday and April 16 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder Kim Il-sung.

The Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite will be launched using a long-range rocket from the DPRK's northwest. Pyongyang has insisted that the launch is a scientific achievement intended to improve the nation's economy.

However, the satellite launch plan has aroused concerns from the international community. The United States, Japan, Britain and other nations have urged the DPRK to cancel the launch, warning that firing the long-range rocket would violate UN resolutions and Pyongyang's promise to suspend its nuclear and missile activity.

According to Xinhua, an official from the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Republic of Korea told reporters at a briefing on Monday that the ROK and the US "are keeping close tabs on movements" related to what the official called the DPRK's "long-range missile launch".

The ROK military is "fully prepared" to respond to any acts of provocation, Xinhua cited an ROK official, who declined to be named, as saying.

The ROK has said it might shoot down the rocket if it strays into its territory. Philippine Airlines said on Monday that a dozen of its planes from the US, Japan and the ROK would be diverted from the rocket's potential path to protect its passengers, according to The Associated Press.


1. What is the name of the interceptor deployed by Japan?

2. When is the launch expected to take place?

3. Which airline is diverting flights due to the rocket?


1. Patriot Advanced Capability-3

2. between Thursday and April 16

3. Philippine Airlines

(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Japan deploys interceptors for launch

About the broadcaster:

Japan deploys interceptors for launch

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.