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North Korea Launch Would Go Before Security Council

  • VOA News

The United States, Japan and South Korea have agreed that any launch of a North Korean rocket would be taken to the United Nations Security Council.

Japan's nuclear envoy, Akitaka Saiki, told reporters after a meeting between the three countries in Washington Friday that a North Korean rocket launch would violate U.N. resolutions and uld be taken to the Security Council immediately.

The three countries have all accused North Korea of using the planned launch to test its ballistic missile capability.

North Korea says it intends to launch a communications satellite between April 4th and April 8th.

Earlier Friday, Japan and the United States began mobilizing their missile blocking capabilities ahead of the launch.

Japan's defense minister (Yasukazu Hamada) said his government has ordered its military to shoot down dangerous debris that might fall on Japanese territory during the launch.

Officials say Japan is moving several (PAC-3) land-to-air missiles to its northern coast, as well as deploying two (SM-3) sea-to-air missiles.

News reports say the U.S. Navy is also moving equipment to the waters around Japan. The reports say Navy officials said the force has deployed warships that have a radar system to track and destroy missiles (the Aegis system).

An international intelligence publication (Jane's Defense Weekly) said Friday that satellite imagery shows North Korea is nearing the final phases of preparing for its rocket launch. It said recent activity at the launch site suggests the mission is on or even ahead of schedule.

The White House has warned North Korea that the missile launch would violate a 2006 United Nations Security Council resolution (1718) that bans the country from engaging in ballistic missile activities.

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