April 2nd, 2009
03:55 PM ET

N. Korea warns Japan against targeting rocket

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/02/north.korea.rocket/rocket.jpg]

North Korea says it will attack the Japanese military and "major targets," if Japan shoots down a rocket Pyongyang plans to launch in the coming days, North Korea's state-run news service, KCNA, reported Thursday.

Japan recently deployed its missile defense system in anticipation of North Korea's planned rocket launch.

"If Japan recklessly 'intercepts' [North Korea's] satellite for peaceful purposes, the [Korean People's Army] will mercilessly deal deadly blows not only at the already deployed intercepting means but at major targets," KCNA reported.

Japan recently mobilized its missile defense system in response to the planned North Korean launch, Japanese officials said. The move, noteworthy for a country with a pacifist constitution, is aimed at shooting down any debris from the launch that might fall into Japanese territory.

U.S. Navy ships capable of shooting down ballistic missiles have also been moved to the Sea of Japan, a Navy spokesman said.

The threat of retaliation comes as North Korea has begun fueling its long-range rocket, according to a senior U.S. military official familiar with the latest U.S. intelligence on the matter.

The fueling signals that the country could be in the final stages of what North Korea has said will be the launch of a satellite into space as early as this weekend, the senior U.S. military official said Wednesday.


soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ruth

    With Nth Korea, it's all about threat's isn't it. I do know that Japan is planning or is increasing their military and looking at past laws, that will make it's military more effective. I can't remember what it was, just that it has something to do with the current government. They have a right to exercise it seeing that they have countries that may threaten them very close by.

    April 2, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  2. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    Why can't the North Koreans fire the damn missile the other direction?! In my opinion, there threats are just empty threats. Their leader Kim Jong "So ill" is bored playing chess and killing anyone who beats him, so he has to find some cheap thrills elsewhere. America's response would result in the annihilation of North Korea's nuclear program.

    April 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  3. Stephen

    I know the world has some bigger problems to deal with right now but at some point we need to come together and do something about these rouge countries that are only becoming more dangerous as time goes on ie. North Korea, Iran etc.

    April 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  4. Sherry, N. Calif.

    Saber-rattling Japan? How about the rest of the world too? This is just great. If this happens we can kiss the world good-bye. U.S. will not sit idle and let Japan take all the hits. W.W.III on the way? Let's not be vigilant but be prepared for anything. Look out Alaska it may not be Mt. Redoubt you have to worry about expolding, along with the Drift River Facility spilling into the Cook Inlet but Korea too! "Through the Grace of God, go I."

    April 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  5. Joseph

    Bottom line,

    The North Koreans are simply evil in their intent with Japan and the U.S........personally, we know that we are a danger and would like to wipe us off the map, similar to the Chineese.....so, what are we waiting for?

    Our beloved country has become a bunch of woosies. We have lost our backbone and are constantly trying to do the "polictically correct" thing. We can't be "good guys" to everyone.

    I think we should just take them out....and, Iran wouldn't be a bad second choice.


    April 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  6. William of Iowa

    What exactly do the North Koreans mean by "peaceful purposes"? Is this satellite going to improve phone service or weather reports? Maybe allow for HDTV signals or radio or what? Do they intend to market access to communication companies for economic reasons? If so, what is the problem with just letting folks know. Their militaristic posturing over the years does not lend itself well to trust. The action being considered by Japan, the United States and I would imagine others to shoot down or disrupt the launch is a dangerous gambit. Maybe the North Koreans will attack someone somewhere, maybe not. I am abit nervous about taking the chance. Let them launch -we gather intelligence, test our tracking capabilities and remind Great Leader II that if you mount a nuke on top of that rocket, bear in mind we have about 10,000 of them and are, by the way, the only nation to fire one in anger. This is a nightmare.

    April 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  7. Dr Robert Carl Parisien Natick MA

    Agreed there's some saber rattling going on but I dont think they have the technology to deliver weapons long range. Robert Carl Parisien Natick MA. The US should just sit back and watch what happens.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  8. Diane N.

    I guess that all depends on you North Korea don't it? You're true intent that is...

    April 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    North Korea is certainly saber rattling at Japan; makes you wonder about that "communication satellite" story. I wouldn't bet on North Korea not having the technology to deliver a missile to the Pacific coast, etc – when you underestimate an enemy you get nasty surprises. More vigilance seems to be the most appropriate response to this.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:05 pm |

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