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Japan Military on Alert Over N. Korea Possible Missile Launch
International

Japan Military on Alert Over N. Korea Possible Missile Launch

Japan’s newly appointed defense minister on Monday ordered the nation’s military to be ready to destroy any missiles fired by North Korea that threaten the country, local media reported.

Tomomi Inada issued the order, public broadcaster NHK said, without mentioning any indication that Pyongyang is preparing to launch such a missile.

Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe picked Inada, a close confidante with staunchly nationalist views, as the new defense minister, AFP reported. NHK said Inada is expected to renew the readiness order every three months so that Tokyo can seamlessly maintain a state of alert. A Japanese Defense Ministry spokesman declined to confirm the report.

Her appointment came on Wednesday, the same day North Korea fired a ballistic missile that landed just 250 km off its coast, hitting Japanese-controlled waters for the first time.

The US military said the North had actually launched two Rodong intermediate-range missiles simultaneously, but one appeared to have exploded on takeoff.

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