North Korea has informed the international community that it plans to send a satellite into orbit, and says that the launch will occur sometime between April 4 and April 8. The United States and South Korea have both cautioned against the launch, saying it would be an “act of provocation.”
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada says that he has ordered the deployment of the nation’s missile interceptors to the northern coast to prepare for an attempted shootdown of the planned missile. At the moment they appear only to be preparing for a potential accident.
US officials have previously also suggested that they may attempt to shoot down the satellite, though there has been less talk of that as the launch draws near. The actual functionality of those anti-missile systems are in serious doubt, and far more damaging than allowing a seemingly innocuous communications satellite to launch would be trying, and failing to shoot it down.