North Korea plans to launch a Satellite - Japan prepares for a Ballistic Missile

North Korea has informed Japan that it will launch a satellite within two weeks, but Tokyo believes it could be a ballistic missile and is therefore taking precautions, AFP reported.

Pyongyang informed Japan's coast guard that the launch would take place between May 31 and June 11, with the launch carrier's first stage landing in waters near the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines, a coast guard spokesman told AFP.

However, the Prime Minister's Office announced on Twitter that Fumio Kishida had issued instructions "regarding North Korea's notification of the launch of a ballistic missile it described as a satellite."

He has told officials to gather intelligence, remain vigilant and coordinate closely with allies, including the United States and South Korea.

Japan's Ministry of Defense has issued an order to the Air Self-Defense Force to destroy any ballistic missile confirmed to be about to fall on the country's territory. The ministry said the troops will be authorized to use SM-3 interceptor missiles and Patriot PAC-3 missiles.

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