Iranian experts helping North Korea’s rocket launch

March 29th, 2009 - 6:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Pyongyang, Mar. 29 (ANI): A Japanese newspaper has claimed that missile experts from Iran are currently in North Korea to supervise Pyongyang’s rocket launch.

Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper has claimed that a 15-membered delegation from Tehran is in the country, advising the North Koreans since the beginning of March.

The Iranian experts include senior officials with Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the daily added.

Japan, South Korea, the US and its allies have expressed concern over North Korea’s rocket launch, believed to be an illegal missile launch.

The Iranians brought a letter from Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il stressing the importance of cooperating on space technology, the Japanese daily reported.

On Sunday, Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force began deploying units capable of shooting down a rocket to the northern prefectures of Akita and Iwate, according to Japan’s local media.

Units carrying Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles left a base in central Japan and will arrive at the northern prefectures on Monday.

“I issued the necessary order to the Self-Defence Forces to prepare for an event in which a North Korean projectile falls onto our country in an accident. It is important to eliminate the North Korean projectile should it threaten the safety and security of the people by entering our airspace or falling into our waters or soil,” Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada had said.

However, North Korea has been saying that it has the right to launch the experimental communications satellite and that it will consider any attempt to intercept the rocket as a hostile act.

North Korea has also threatened to withdraw from the six-party talks on eliminating nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula and warned that it is considering resuming its atomic weapons program.

The launch is set for some time between April 4 and 8. (ANI)

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