(LinkAsia: March 23, 2012)
In Japan, the defense minister says he would consider destroying the rocket to protect the country's territory. Japanese broadcaster NHK tells us more.
NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: March 23, 2012
Naoki Tanaka, Japanese Defense Minister:
As we face the North Korean issue, now is an important time to demonstrate the Japan-US alliance.
John Roos, US Ambassador to Japan:
Totally agree with that.
Tanaka said the international community should unite in pressing North Korea to abandon its launch plan. Ambassador Roos said the North's action is a threat to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Tanaka said he will order the Self-Defense Forces to prepare to intercept any falling debris from the rocket. He added that the defense ministry is considering deploying destroyers equipped with the Aegis Air Defense System off southern islands, such as Ishigaki. He said Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles could also be deployed.