(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The Japanese government has begun deploying interceptor missiles following North Korea's announcement that it will launch a satellite-carrying rocket later this month.
Japan considers the launch will be virtually a test of a ballistic missile.
North Korea said on Saturday it will launch a rocket carrying an "earth observation satellite" between the 10th and 22nd of this month.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, and other cabinet ministers late on Saturday to discuss the matter, according to (NHK World) website.
Noda told reporters after the meeting that the planned missile launch is against UN Security Council resolutions and presidential statement.
He said if the North is to go ahead with the launch, the international community needs to respond firmly.
Noda said he will ensure collection and analysis of information to prepare for any contingency while urging North Korea to show self-restraint in close contact with other countries.
The defense minister issued an order to his ministry and the Self-Defense Forces to take all necessary measures.
Under the order, the SDF began deploying PAC-3 interceptor surface-to-air missiles on the ground and Aegis destroyers carrying SM-3 interceptor missiles at sea.