Japan’s threat to destroy rocket act of war, says North Korea

April 1st, 2009 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, April 1 (RIA Novosti) Pyongyang has announced that any attempt by Japan to shoot down a rocket, which is scheduled to launch a communications satellite April 4-8, would be considered an act of war, a media report said Wednesday.
North Korea announced the launch plans in February, which is due to take place from its Musudan-ri launch site. The US, Japan and South Korea, which have condemned the launch, believe the secretive state is planning to test its Taepodong-2 long-range missile.

“Should Japan dare recklessly to intercept North Korea’s satellite, Pyongyang would consider this as the start of Japan’s war of re-invasion more than six decades after the Second World War, and will mercilessly destroy all its interceptor means and citadels with the most powerful military means,” the state-run KCNA news agency reported.

KCNA dismissed the long-range missile claims, saying that a Kwangmyongsong-2 experimental satellite was due to be launched for “peaceful purposes”, and denied that it posed any threat to Japanese security.

Japan’s Security Council gave approval last Friday for the military to destroy the North Korean rocket should it pose a threat to Japanese security.

Japan’s Kyodo reported that two Aegis guided-missile destroyers had set sail from Nagasaki en route to the Sea of Japan Saturday to intercept the rocket if required.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon added to the criticism Saturday, warning that the launch would complicate peace and stability in northeast Asia.

China has said it has no plans for any special operations against the upcoming rocket launch.

“China has focused on how to defuse tensions and bring about reconciliation… China believes that peace is golden,” China Daily quoted Lt. Gen. Liu Chengjun, president of the Beijing-based Academy of Military Science, as saying.

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