What missiles? Nude,Noodle…….?
TOKYO (Sputnik) – Japan still considers North Korean nuclear and missile program “an unprecedentedly serious and imminent” threat to its security despite the alleviation of tensions on the Korean peninsula, the country’s Defense Ministry said in an annual white paper on Tuesday.
“Taking into consideration the fact that North Korea appears to possess and deploy several hundred Nodong missiles capable of reaching almost every part of Japan as well as advancements in the development and operational capabilities of nuclear weapons and missiles through repeated nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches to date, there is no change in our basic recognition concerning the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles,” the document read.
According to the document, Japan will also strengthen its air defense network by introducing two US-developed Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense systems.”In order to defend Japan, at all times, it is necessary to drastically improve ballistic missile defense capabilities. Therefore, the National Security Council and the Cabinet approved in December 2017 the introduction of two land-based Aegis System (Aegis Ashore) … introduction of Aegis Ashore will reinforce upper tier interception Aegis-equipped destroyers,” the paper read.
Tokyo plans to deploy the missile defense systems to protect the country from potential launch of ballistic missiles by Pyongyang.
In July, US Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats doubted that North Korea would dismantle its nuclear program within a year. The Japanese Defense Ministry has recently come under fire after raising the estimated costs for each Aegis Ashore from $720 million to $1.2 billion.
US-based media reported earlier in July that Pyongyang was continuing to develop its nuclear program and trying to deceive the United States about its denuclearization efforts.
However, South Korean media suggested earlier that Pyongyang began dismantling facilities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in the province of North Pyongan where the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-15 was tested.
In early August, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the US and North Korea are in the middle of process on achieving the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
Meanwhile, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has significantly improved over the last months, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un having held several rounds of talks with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in and a summit with US President Trump in Singapore.During the June 12 summit, Kim and Trump reached an agreement that required Pyongyang to denuclearize in exchange for a freeze on the US-South Korean military drills and eventual sanctions relief.