Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The winds of war are blowing from the far east with the escalation of tension between Tokyo and Pyongyang, which involves the entire Korean Peninsula and the nations of the area. The Japanese Defence Minister Naoiki Tanaka reports that Tokyo has ordered the preparation of a "missile defence system" in response to the recent announcement that Pyongyang will launch a long-range carrier next month. Government sources added that the defense system will be located near the island of Okinawa in the south of the archipelago, to overthrow the North Korean rocket if it were to threaten Japanese territory.
In a meeting with the press, Naoiki Tanaka confirmed that he had "ordered the officers to prepare the relocation of the PAC-3 [system] and Aegis warships," referring to the surface to air missile block and the destroyer with rockets on board.
Last week, the North Korean regime announced the intention to launch a "satellite" into orbit to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the "eternal president" Kim Il-sung, the founding father of communist North Korea in late 1994 (see . AsiaNews 16/03/12 North Korea to mark centenary of Kim Il-sung with rocket launch). The Kwangmyongsong-3 carrier is defined by regime scientists "satellite work" and considered "an opportunity to bring space technology for peaceful purposes to a higher level."
The move of the scheme is deemed a violation of the resolution of UN Security Council, which in April 2009 - the day after a similar event - had banned the space experiments and missile launches by North Korea. The United States and its allies consider that it is an excuse for a "missile experiment." Washington, Seoul and Beijing have expressed "grave concern" after the announcement by Pyongyang, while South Korean Foreign Minister spoke of "serious provocation" that threatens "peace and security" in the Korean peninsula.
The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has warned that a North Korean missile launch would "discourage" other international donors from sending humanitarian aid. This morning from Singapore, where he is engaged in a diplomatic mission, the top UN official said that "such an act would undermine recent positive diplomatic progress and, in its effect on international donors, would likely worsen the humanitarian situation inside the country".