Japan Conducts Missile Defense Drills After N.Korean Test

  • By Lee Ha-won, Pak Soo-chan

    October 10, 2019 13:20

    Japan's Air Self-Defense Force conducted a missile defense drill in Tokyo on Wednesday using Patriot interceptors. The defense drill came just seven days after North Korea tested a new Pukguksong-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

    Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono and Tokyo Mayor Yuriko Koike observed the exercise that lasted about 20 minutes.

    The Air Self-Defense Force said the purpose was to "demonstrate a prompt readiness level in response to [North Korea's] ballistic missiles."

    Japan's Air Self-Defense Force soldiers conduct a missile defense drill in Tokyo on Wednesday. /Kyodo-Yonhap

    China said North Korea's latest launch of the Pukguksong-3 SLBM demonstrated Pyongyang's capability to strike back with nuclear weapons if it first suffers a nuclear attack.

    Chinese news website The Paper wrote that the sub-based Pukguksong-3 is crucial for North Korea, because its "narrow land area" makes it difficult for other land-based nuclear missiles to survive an enemy attack.

    It added that North Korea apparently "feels confident about its submarine launch technology and wants to equip itself for war spending less time and money."

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