Posted by The Extinction Protocol
Could the next great war actually start in Asia?
March 26, 2012 – SEOUL – South Korea has warned it might shoot down a North Korean rocket if it passes over its territory, as worries about what Washington calls a long-range missile test overshadowed an international nuclear security summit. “We are studying measures such as tracking and shooting down [parts] of a North Korean missile in case they stray out of their normal trajectory” and violate South Korean territory, said Yoon Won-shik, a spokesman at the South’s defence ministry. He called the launch “a very reckless, provocative act” that undermines peace on the Korean peninsula. Yoon said North Korea had moved the main body of the rocket into a building at a site near the village of Tongchang-ri in North Phyongan province and that it was making preparations for a launch. The South Korean and U.S. military were closely monitoring the situation, he added. Nearly 60 world leaders have gathered in Seoul to talk about ways to keep nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. But North Korea has dominated attention since announcing this month it would send a satellite into space aboard a long-range rocket. North Korea calls the launch part of its peaceful space program and says a new southerly flight path is meant to avoid other countries; previous rockets have been fired over Japan. Washington and Seoul, however, say the multistage rocket is meant to test delivery systems for long-range missiles that could be mounted with nuclear weapons. Barack Obama and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Myung-bak, urged North Korea in a joint news conference on Sunday to immediately halt its launch plans, warning they would deal sternly with any provocation. Obama said the move would jeopardise a deal settled last month in which the US would ship food aid to the North in exchange for a nuclear freeze. The launch preparations come as North Koreans and new leader Kim Jong-un mark 100 days since the death of Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, and prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il-sung, the North Korean founder, on 15 April. –Guardian
Patriot missiles to be deployed in Tokyo: Japan is to deploy surface-to-air missiles in central Tokyo in readiness for North Korea’s planned rocket launch, its defense minister said today. The deployment of an anti-missile battery in the densely packed capital city would be in addition to facilities on the southern island chain of Okinawa Naoki Tanaka told lawmakers. “We are working on procedures to deploy the Patriot in the Tokyo metropolitan area, acting on precedent,” Tanaka told upper house members, referring to the PAC-3 surface-to-air missile defense system. “We are also preparing to deploy the Patriot in the Nansei (southwestern) islands including Okinawa,’ as the second stage of North Korea’s rocket is expected to fly over Japan’s southernmost island chain, Tanaka added. The nuclear-armed North has announced it will launch a rocket in mid-April to put a satellite into orbit, a move the United States, South Korea and other nations see as a pretext for a long-range missile test banned by the UN. Tanaka said on Friday he was readying Japan’s missile defense systems to shoot down the rocket if it looked set to fall on the country, a move similar to measures Japan took in 2009 before Pyongyang’s last long-range rocket launch. –Indian Express