South Korea, Japan Demand N. Korea Cancel Missile Launch

The stakes are getting higher as North Korea proceeds with its plan to launch a rocket during April 4-8. South Korea and its allies say this is a test of a long-range missile; North Korea claims it is a satellite launch.

The U.N. says a launch would violate U.N. sanctions.The United States and Japan have threatened to shoot the missile down. North Korea has threatened a full-scale war if they do.

Many analysts don’t believe the situation will get to that point. But it seems to me that this is often how conflicts start. Threats beget counter threats, actions beget retaliation and then….Boom! Things just spiral out of control very quickly. One hopes that isn’t the outcome here.

Japan protests NKorea’s rocket launch plan
Associated Press

An angry Japan hinted Friday it could down an incoming North Korean rocket, but analysts dismissed the talk as bluster and said the communist country will go ahead with a planned April launch with little fear of the consequences….

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said the country reserves the right to take out the rocket if it looks like it could hit. “Legally speaking, if this object falls toward Japan, we can shoot it down for safety reasons,” he said.

Japan, which was shaken in 1998 when a North Korean missile flew over its territory and landed in the Pacific, has since moved to develop missile defense capabilities with some success. It downed a ballistic missile from a ship at sea in a 2007 test.

Lance Gatling, an independent defense analyst, said the country is capable of intercepting a medium-range missile. North Korea, though, is expected to fire a long-range rocket next month.

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South Korea urged North Korea not to fire rocket
ITAR-TASS

South Korea urged North Korea on Friday to stop its move to fire what it suspects to be a missile, reiterating its firm position that any launch would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution.

“Since North Korea’s act is in violation of U.N. Resolution 1718, it should be halted,” foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-yong said in a statement. “If North Korea presses ahead with a launch, there will be Security Council-level consultation and countermeasures,” he said.

He said South Korea is in close talks with the U.S., Japan, China, and Russia to deal with Pyongyang’s move.

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RF to send signal to DPRK on danger of military-space activity
ITAR-TASS

Russia is to send a signal to the DPRK about the danger of military-space activity, Mikhail Margelov, the head of the International Relations Committee of the Federation Council upper house of Russian parliament, said on Friday in connection with North Korea’ s intention to launch a booster rocket carrying a satellite.

“It is extremely important to send a signal to our North Korean neighbours since any military-space activity can complicate the debates regarding security on the Korean peninsula,” he said.

“This can complicate relations between North and South Korea and affect the six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear dossier,” Margelov holds. “As neighbours of North Korea we want clarity about these plants,” said the Russian MP.

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