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RSS FeedsNorth Korea´s weapons testing stirs worries in Japan
(The Star Travel)


17 september 2017 01:59:49

North Korea´s weapons testing stirs worries in Japan
(The Star Travel)

TOKYO—The anti-missile batteries deployed on the sprawling grounds of the Japanese defence ministry are a stark reminder that here, the dispute with North Korea goes beyond bombast and rhetoric.These PAC-3 portable batteries are a version of the Patriot missiles deployed against Iraqi Scuds during the Gulf War, upgraded to defend against ballistic missiles, the kind that North Korea is now believed to have in its arsenal.The batteries are meant to protect this sprawling city, one part of a defensive system to guard the country against anything fired from its erratic and provocative regional neighbour — a system that Japan is under pressure to upgrade in the face of North Korea’s increasingly capable missile and weapons technologies.Experts say the chances of an actual attack are low, but North Korea’s stepped-up weapons testing — including Friday’s missile launch — and Washington’s fiery response has put many on edge here, saying the threat is now at a new level.Ryoichi Oriki, a retired general who headed Japan’s self-defence forces, says the risk is “unprecedented.”“It’s really a critical time of crisis on the Korean peninsula,” said Oriki, who now serves as an executive adviser at Fujitsu.“North Korea’s missile technology has advanced. They can achieve longer range now and they can launch a missile anywhere now. They can even place a nuclear warhead — perhaps they have the technology now. Those changes are significant and those pose serious threats, not only to East Asia,” he told the Star during an interview in his Tokyo office prior to the most recent missile launch.Read more:North Korea launches missile over JapanNorth Korea threatens to sink JapanAll options on the table, Trump warnsThose concerns were driven home anew Friday as Japanese residents woke to word of yet another North Korean test that sent a missile arcing high over the ...
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