Japan Prepares to Try to Shoot Down North Korean Missile

Japanese DM Says Preparations Have Been Made to Stop Malfunctioning Rocket

As Japan continues to fret over a planned test launch in North Korea, the military is preparing to deploy the “Son of Star Wars” missile defense system in case they decide to try to shoot down a North Korean rocket.

If it is capable of reaching Japan then it goes without saying that we will react,” says Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, who says that preparations have been made in case the test fire malfunctions and poses a threat to Japanese territory.

Any test missile would likely be shot far above the island nation, and attempting to shoot it down is not without risks. There are serious doubts that the missile defense can actually work, and a failed attempt would likely do enormous damage to the expensive program.

The United States has also made comments in recent days suggesting that it may shoot down the test missile, though it was still pending presidential approval. North Korea insists it is only launching a communication satellite, and not a missile.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.