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Japan Threatens North Korea Missile launch
Sometime around tax time in the US, April 15, the North Korea will launch its largest missile, the Unha-3 (Galaxy), which is a intercontinental missile. North Korea claims the rocket will carry a satellite into space. It is a three stage, 32m tall rocket, with the second stage reaching 3200 km. This range would place it near Guam. This launch announcement is 16 days after the North's new leaders agreed to suspend long-range missile tests as part of a deal under which it would receive 240,000 tonnes of US food aid. Pyongyang also promised to freeze its uranium enrichment plant. So, I guess this is suppose to be a big surprise?
Japan's Prime Minister has declared that if the missile flies over any part of Japan, the missile will be intercepted and destroyed. Japan will send destroyers with Aegis missile defense systems to the Pacific Ocean and East China Sea, deploy mobile Patriot missile launchers to Okinawa, and station interceptor missile units in Tokyo. All this to prevent any error or malfunction on the part of the NK launch that would then pose a danger to Japanese citizens. South Korea echoed this threat more mildly using the word "might". There is good reason for this concern because of the recent failures of NK's rocket systems developed from Soviet and Iranian systems. The last time it was tested was in April 2009, when it failed to reach orbit.