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Japan ready to shoot down N Korean rocket, if necessary

77 Comments

The Japanese government said Monday that it may have to shoot down a North Korean rocket if it passes over Japan.

Analysts have said there is a possibility that the rocket, which Pyongyang said it will launch between April 12 and 16, may pass over Kyushu or Okinawa. Pyongyang insists the program is part of peaceful space research, while Japan, the U.S. and other nations see it as a disguised missile test.

Speaking in the Diet, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said that upon receiving the go-ahead from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, he will issue an order to the Self-Defense Forces to activate Japan's missile defense system and shoot down the rocket, Fuji TV reported. The SDF have Aegis-equipped destroyers carrying ballistic missile interceptors and ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors in their arsenal.

North Korea says the rocket will take a "safer” flight path compared to previous launches that strayed into Japanese airspace.

In 2009, Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket over Japan in what it claimed at the time was an attempt to get a satellite into orbit. Tokyo and its allies said it was a ballistic missile test.

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77 Comments
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Yea, sure they will.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's a kind of test to see if Japanese government is capable at such crisis. If the rocket pass over Japan, it would be nice to evaluate our defense system.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The people who sold them that crap are praying to God it won't come to that.

I know the news keeps telling us that previous rockets entered Japan's airspace, but is that really true? Airspace ends at 12 nm from the coast and the vertical extent is disputed. But the U.S. has flown shuttles over other countries as low as 80 km up without so much as a "How do you do?". Did any NK rocket ever fall into those parameters? Or is this a case of "We don't need any facts!" to condemn NK?

Even if I though shooting it down possible, and I don't, I still think the best answer is to destroy it on the launch pad. But my only reason is because NK agreed not to launch any more.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Good stuff Japan, watch NK launch their nukes after you do that.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

If it enters Japanese airspace than its rightly justified that Japan should destroy it. Be a good test for our anti missile system.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Oh yeah, Japan will get a nice, LONG "test" of it's defensive capability if they shoot the NK rocket for that. Remember how NK reacted to shells fired to NK claimed territorial waters?

Start all the wars you want, but you better finish them also alone.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

fireworks are coming for the people in Okinawa!

That is the most logical trajectory without passing over two countries (SK and Kyushu) mainlands from NK

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yesterday on the news they said that the most likely launch-patterns are along the western Korean peninsula with it coming down next to South Korea or close to the Philippines depending on the missile.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In 2009, Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket over Japan

And Japan had not been able to shoot it down. Obviously. They think they have progressed ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If Japan does try to shoot down the missile, it better make the strike good. Otherwise it will show a weakness in the defense system.

Let's see ... in addition to the earthquake survival gear you have sitting around your home, you'd better add a rocket-proof helmet to the collection.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Will it be more dangerous for Japanese people if the missile exploded over the sky in Japan?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The people who sold them that crap are praying to God it won't come to that. I know the news keeps telling us that previous rockets entered Japan's airspace, but is that really true? Airspace ends at 12 nm from the coast and the vertical extent is disputed. But the U.S. has flown shuttles over other countries as low as 80 km up

A shuttle and a missile have different purposes, no? And yes, the last Tepodon flew right over Japan into the Pacific.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

0

SeaveyMar. 19, 2012 - 05:05PM JST

The people who sold them that crap are praying to God it won't come to that. I know the news keeps telling us that previous rockets entered Japan's airspace, but is that really true? Airspace ends at 12 nm from the coast and the vertical extent is disputed. But the U.S. has flown shuttles over other countries as low as 80 km up without so much as a "How do you do?". Did any NK rocket ever fall into those parameters? Or is this a case of "We don't need any facts!" to condemn NK? Even if I though shooting it down possible, and I don't, I still think the best answer is to destroy it on the launch pad. But my only reason is because NK agreed not to launch any more.

Sounds like the comment one would make, who has absolutely zero percent actual experience or intrinsic knowledge of the technology and systems involved... English teacher perhaps..?

Yes, The U.S. openly spies on the other 99% of the countries around the globe, and they openly fly space shuttles (in the past, space shuttles don't fly anymore) over other countries, but they don't shoot offensive missiles over populated areas, unless of course your country is harboring international terrorist, in such cases, your country was asked numerous times to hand these people over or take care of them themself (I.E. Pakistan, Yemen, ect...) and thumbed their noses. George Dudya and Cheney aren't in Office anymore, there are no more war criminals running the U.S. now.

As your math teacher said before, you're comparing apples and oranges...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

efisher

Will it be more dangerous for Japanese people if the missile exploded over the sky in Japan?

No there will be no immediate health affects from this.....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan should have the latest anti-missile systems in place and shoot down this 'fake' satellite rocket if it passes over Japanese territory. In fact Japan should do a live test and invite digniteries from around the world to observe this. I'm sure the US will gladly help to organize this. Do not be cowed by the NKs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No there will be no immediate health affects from this....

Right; it'll be at least 30 seconds until the debris start raining down over Kumamoto.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Go offer the fat one in NK all the free cake he can eat and watch him capitulate, then tell him no more cake if he launches said rocket.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'd like to see that - for one just to see if those patriot missiles were worth the money, and it would be a nice retort to DPRKs chimpira-type neighborhood intimidation tactics, all of which is part of a new begging campaign to get food and luxury goods in for the upcoming 100th anniversary of birth of Kim Il Sung.

They must be ignored, and pushed back over these stunts. I really hope they do it, make those punks fire their Taepodongs in another direction....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope the J-government has the balls to shoot that thing down.

It is not a "satellite" anyway, it is missile test, and it is not a far stretch to assume that this is going to be the carrier missile for Irans nuclear bomb.

If Japan lets the Great Leader get away with this, they have only themselves to blame.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does anyone here remember the Gulf War? If so, you would remember what a Patriot Missle can actually accomplish, and an Aegis Destroyer, best thing money can buy for tracking a destroying multiple targets. There is no issue here, just push a button, and the NK Scud is bye-bye.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

WilliB.

I will wait and see.

As far as I am concerned if Iran would really wanted a Nuke they could easily buy one from pakistan as they already got them and the technology.

Also haven't heard anything on the news about land-based counter-measures being deployed as they did for previous launches NK launches.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Will this enter history as the "hanabi incident"? The NK missile assaulted Japanese fireworks... It is indeed rather severe to send missiles (or planes) flying in low airspace over another country's surface area (or EEZ). Nevertheless, with the chaotic authorities in NK, there is probably no hope that they share enough information with their neighbours for civilised management of this event.

It might be actually worse if the rocket fails by itself and the NK military claims that it has been sabotaged. No sabotage is much harder to prove than not shooting something down. Failure means loosing face. For both sides. This is the most dangerous part here.

@WilliB:

As far as I know, Iran already has its own carrier missiles. At least the typical comments are that missiles reach even beyond Israel into Europe. If they don't reach to Poland, the missile defense plans from the Bush era don't make much sense and are quite an amazing waste of money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Roger Goetz, we all remember that the Patriot missiles in Gulf War had a hit ratio of just about 9%, and that 45% happily chased after debris or false targets. Scuds rained on Israel quite freely.

Patriot is in it's third version, but a rocket trying to put a payload into orbit needs several burn stages, all of which will change the trajectory of the previous stage. Even Aegis and P3 combined does not have the computing power to calculate the changing trajectory in the miniscule reaction window. Patriot has never been able to take down a multi-stage rocket even during a controlled test.

Trust me on this one: Nobody. Has. A. Missile. Shield.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Agree the Patriot system showed it's flaws during the Gulf War(expensive need a lot to be deployed).

I think best would be Aegis & P3 coupled with a human operator to work together.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I'd love to see them do it, and make no apologies for doing so. North Korea have long surrendered any right to complain about such things.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Would it really be an act of self-defense if they shoot down a rocket just cos it passes over Japan? I think it is more of an act of aggression that will probably start a war with NK. didn't NK state they would let foreigners in to observe the launch? I think Japan is having a flashback and flexing its imperialistic 'ijime' regime. I just hope they consider the consequences of carrying out such a threat.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seavey,

Or is this a case of "We don't need any facts!" to condemn NK?

We don't. They are the bad guys.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We don't. They are the bad guys.

So its "who you are" not "what you do".

If you will excuse me, I need to call my North Korean relative now and inform her that she is one the "bad guys". Then I need to call Charles Manson and tell him that he is one of the "good guys". Or you could pinch yourself and wake up?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

but they don't shoot offensive missiles over populated areas,

This from the guy who accuses me of having "absolutely zero percent actual experience or intrinsic knowledge of the technology and systems involved". So what is it exactly about NK rockets you think you know?

I will tell you something I do know about: maps. If you have ever seen one you would realize that any long range rocket or missile NK were to test MUST go over someone's country. That would be because the North Koreans have not been nearly as successful as the United States at wiping out millions of people to steal their land to have sufficient room for such a test.

Apples and oranges indeed.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan or South Korea or any country has a right to shoot this North Korean rocket down if it flies over their territory. That;'s self defense, period. And no, any country doig so isn't provoking a war, it;s acting in self defense, The only one doing the provoking, as usual, is North Korea.

" didn't NK state they would let foreigners in to observe the launch? "

Will the Iranian "observers" be in uniform or in civilian attire?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

peaceful space research

If North Korea says it's for peaceful research and Japan can say their whaling is for 'research' can we believe both of them and blow the next whaling vessel out of the the ocean? Didn't think so.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

WAR for sure.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Since NK is already taking the initiative to test-launch a rocket which is going to end up in the sea anyway, Japan should ask NK if it would be ok to test if they can shoot it down. It would be a win-win situation for both countries and stabilize relationships.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shoot it down. Neither China nor Russia are defending North Korea on this one, and have publicly expressed their concerns (so you can imagine the behind doors activity that is going on following these announcements). The new boy in NK is flexing his muscles, no doubt at the behest of his elders. There's no better time for Japan to be decisive in this new relationship.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Go for it! Japan couldn't shoot an arrow and hit its target the target were the ground, at least not based on their own tech. It would be based on the American technology that YuriOtani and others say is not necessary, etc.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

hatsoff: "Shoot it down. Neither China nor Russia are defending North Korea on this one,"

Agreed... but that's the only part of this that is actually clever, if any part is; they can claim they were honouring the former leader, so it was independent. But if anyone acts against it it is an attack.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Shooting and missing is much more likely than shooting and hitting. And what will they do then when everybody in North Korea and Japan knows Japan has no missile defence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The SDF have Aegis-equipped destroyers carrying ballistic missile interceptors and ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors in their arsenal.

All courtesy of the U.S., and at high cost to boot. If the missile is fired on a trajectory that takes it over Okinawa, perhaps the SDF could actually put some of their expensive "toys" to use for once, instead of relying on the U.S. to provide for the great bulk of Japan's defense.

By doing so, Japan could prove itself capable of defending its territory from missile attack and show that it no longer needs the U.S. in country, especially on Okinawa.

Or not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

what if it's raining that day?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan, never said the technology was not needed just the American bases. Anyhow since when is an overflight by a satellite launch considered an hostile act? It may be testing the booster but for Japan to shoot it down would be an aggressive act prohibited by article #9. The exception would be if it was going to impact inside Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think it's reasonable for the Japanese government to issue the warning. The US has already said that the food aid won't ship if they go through with the launch. It's better to show NK a hard face now and get them to back down. I hope the US and Japan follow through, if it comes to that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The main issue here is that NK signed a piece of paper saying they would NOT launch any rockets (due to previous incidents). And once again they're breaking it. If they really wanted to join the space-faring community they should have signed up some people with the international space program for knowledge sharing etc. But since they're mis-spending their money on such things instead of fixing their own country nobody trusts them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is there a drill for this? Should we review and update the US "Duck and cover movie?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is there a way to to alter the trajectory so it lands in China?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Starving the non party members in North Korea is not going to bring about change. If anything it helps them hold onto power. Anyone that would revolt is too weak from a lack of food. Look at das leader? He looks like he needs to go to a fat farm. He starves the part of the population unimportant to him. Really the USA needs to shoot it down if it is not a direct threat to Japan. Shooting it down is an act of war.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Great plan... what could go wrong?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

By the time the Japanese government agree on what to do the rocket will have come and gone.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good, lets just get it done now. It is 2012 after all you know.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Noda can visit NK on that event for build peace. So my idea is better.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The head of rocket is very small size for a-bomb.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BessonovYan, if it is determined the missile will impact within or close to Japan then it should be shot down. Japan has the right to defend itself.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Since Japan flies over the ocean between S.Korea and Japan their isn't any danger of blowing up the rocket after it is launched. It will just fall into pieces into the ocean. The U.S. should blow it up instead. If Japan blows it up, then N.Korea will have an excuse to start a war in that region.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtaniMar. 20, 2012 - 06:15AM JST. if it is determined the missile will impact within or close to Japan then it should be shot down. Japan has the right to defend itself.

Are you kidding? The weak J-goverment cannot make decison on their own. The decision for Japan to make this announcement was directed by U.S.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

and shoot down the rocket,

That's what I said on another post.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani

Shooting it down is an act of war.

Yes, but some would equally contend that LAUNCHING it over another nation's airspace is an act of war, and in violation of their signed agreement NOT to launch any rockets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The people in North Korea are STARVING TO DEATH and these fools in power waste $$$ on missiles! IDIOTS!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is no reason to let the non privileged North Koreans to starve to death! They have no say in this and letting them die is inhuman.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If Japan is indeed the target then this is a good test of the defenses. If Japan does not act it will be up to the Americans.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

smith - check your prepositions dear boy. OVER not FROM

1 ( +1 / -0 )

check your prepositions dear boy. OVER not FROM

Launch it over a launch pad, launch it over airspace. Whats the difference? Isn't English fun?

Regardless, I find it extremely infantile the way people refuse to understand or accept that wherever NK shoots a long range rocket or missle, its going over someone's country. Don't beleive me? Get out a map. As such, NK has chosen the least offensive flight path, which is almost due south, toward some islands west of Naha, and the odds of coming down on Japanese land is astronomically small. Actually the Philippines might have more to complain about.

Its very short sighted to not appreciate it when NK does its best to consider the best flight path. The flight path is not the problem here. In fact, its about the nicest thing NK has ever done.

The problem here is that NK made a deal and is breaking it. That's it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The irony of JT posting this article, after yesterday's post.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seavey - Korea nice : choosing the least offensive flight path. Korea bad : breaking their agreement. What's it to be?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's it to be?

Both. You say thank you for considering the best flight path, but remind them of the agreement and warn them that if they don't cancel the launch the rocket will be destroyed on the ground.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It may be a good idea, but it cannot be done because of international agreements. The UN will condemn Japan, of course in very polite manner, if Japan does take action. It just won't happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The UN will condemn Japan

Oh, noes!

I don't think it will be the first time some part of the U.N. condemned Japan and its still light years to go to catch up to Israel.

I agree it won't be done, but I think the reasons have more to do with the U.S. than the U.N.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

More exactly, Japan ready to try to shoot down N Korean rocket. Japan is getting clumsier in everything she does and I don't have too much confidence that Japan will be able to protect or defend herself on her own either in politics, economy or in strategics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I wonder if Japan is afraid to shoot down the missle. If they were to miss, Nkorea would eat that up and Japan would be a laughing stock to the whole world, thier own people as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Gurukun

Spot on. We have a saying " a slap in the face has to be delivered and not promised ".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OK Smith. You win. LOL back on topic please

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Replace Japan with United States and see how much mocking we'll get.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Techie, I totally agree. I remember the news during the Gulf war showing how good the Patriots worked, but the reality was much different. Unless Japan is 100% sure of success, it will be a mistake to try. Of course, NK has promised a safer path so this is just saber rattling?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Geeezzzzz...by all means SHOOT it if it pass your territories. And try to ask USA who drafted the agreement or whatchamacallit that Japan signed when they surrendered after WWII. Japan cannot be on the defense mode anymore since they are being bullied by China and NK.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The truth is, Japan is not shooting down anything, even if the rocket flies over Tokyo. North Koreans know this, the US knows this, and Japan knows this. Saying they will shoot it down is just their attempt to not seem lame or powerless.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Elbuda Mexikano:

" The people in North Korea are STARVING TO DEATH and these fools in power waste $$$ on missiles! IDIOTS!! "

Not idiots. They sell their rockets as well as nuclear know-how to Iran, making money in the process. Plus they intimidate other countries with threats and get concessions in return.

The Kim clan in North Korea is criminal and ruthless, but not stupid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If I right understand NK would use own technology not for war market but for peace market. Because they not want sell ballistic rocket - that is big problem for NK. But may be NK need sell way to space (for little satellite) is more perspective because peace rpket is more better than aggressive military rocket. Japan and SK can go to panic way but also they can support peace way for NK. That is difficult but build peace that is always difficult. USA and China would use J-SK-panic for own interests. USA need sell own military equipment: Patriot, F-35. So they can use J-SK-panic for increase expensive costs F-35 and other. About China - so it understand. I suppose that Japan are not need many expensive military equipment, but more need many friends. Also NK too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I believe that this is yet another Japanese MSM ploy to shift the growing discussion away from shutting down all the nuclear reactors in Japan, which the Government is trying not to do because of the relationship between the UTILITY GANGS and those in Government that monitor them...

If the Japanese Gov't. want to worry about some thing how about telling US where all the radioactive materials are that are now missing from Fukushima; how much has been stolen and or sold to terrorists for use in "dirty bombs"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe someone could post the "cost" of shooting down the NK rocket...

How much money will be spent by the Japanese and is it a good idea to waste it?

If the NK get their International food allotment REDUCED by the total cost of "protecting" Japan's airspace, perhaps NK will think twice before they launch the missile off, (which could be sold instead) and get less food for their people BECAUSE OF THEIR rocketry program...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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