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Japan puts military on alert for possible North Korea missile launch

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TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) - Japan put its military on alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile firing, while South Korea also said it had detected evidence of launch preparations, officials from Japan and South Korea said.

Tension in the region has been high since North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and followed that with a satellite launch and test launches of various missiles.

Japan ordered naval destroyers and Patriot anti-ballistic missile batteries to be ready to shoot down any projectile heading for the country, state broadcaster NHK said.

A Japanese official, who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed the order. A spokesmen for Japan's defense ministry declined to comment.

The missile tubes on a Patriot missile battery on the grounds of Japan's Ministry of Defense were elevated to a firing position.

The South Korean defense official declined to comment on what type of missile might be launched, but South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said officials believe it would be an intermediate-range Musudan missile.

"We've detected a sign and are tracking that. We are fully prepared," said the South Korean official, who also declined to be identified.



Here we go again with N. Korea.  Lil man is up to something. 

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North Korean missile launch attempt apparently failed, South Korea says

Seoul (CNN)North Korea attempted to launch a missile Tuesday, although it appeared to be unsuccessful, South Korea's military said.

One missile was fired from the eastern city of Wonsan at 5.20 a.m., the South Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

It appears to be the latest in a string of missile tests as the country tries to advance its weapons program in defiance of the international community and its closest regional ally, China.

Local media reports suggested it was a medium-range Musudan missile; if confirmed, it would be the fourth time North Korea has tried and failed to launch this type of missile.


If they keep trying they will eventually succeed. 

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The launch was conducted just days before talks scheduled for June 1 in Tokyo between representatives of South Korea, Japan, and the United States concerning North Korea and its nuclear program. It is possible the launch was conducted – in addition to being a developmental weapons test – as a response or protest to these talks.

North Korea is working to improve its ballistic missile arsenal and demonstrate a credible threat and deterrent capability. A successful test of the BM-25 would show North Korea is getting closer to the capability to conduct a nuclear strike as far away as Guam. Additionally, the road-mobile nature of the BM-25 would make it more difficult to track the location of the missiles and detect launch preparations.


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