North Korea plans satellite launch
May 30, 2023 - North Korea’s satellite launch -- seen as a covert test of long-range missile technology -- will pass above Japan’s southwestern islands, including Okinawa.
Japan’s Defence Minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said he had ordered the armed forces to shoot down the satellite or launcher debris if any enters Japanese territory. Japan has deployed land-to-air Patriot PAC-3 and ship-to-air SM-3 interceptors in southwestern Japan and the East China Sea.
SM-3-equipped Aegis destroyers can shoot down ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, while ground-based PAC-3s can intercept missiles that evade the SM-3s.
Japan’s coast guard has issued a safety warning for ships in the Yellow Sea to the west of the Korean Peninsula between May 31 and June 11 because of the possible risks from falling debris.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the launch would “threaten the peace and safety of Japan, the region and the international community.”
North Korea said Tuesday that the launch would carry its first military spy satellite into orbit. Pyongyang’s rivals have condemned the planned launch as a covert test of long-range missile technology banned by UN Security Council resolutions.