Japan Extends Order to Down North Korea’s Possible ‘Satellite’

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on Sunday decided to indefinitely extend an order for the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down a military spy satellite that North Korea is purportedly set to launch if it appears to fall toward Japanese territory.

Pyongyang initially told Tokyo that the launch would take place sometime between May 31 and Sunday.

The order has been extended because the possibility is growing that North Korea’s launch will occur after this period ends.

Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) units have been deployed to Ishigaki, Miyako and Yonaguni islands in Okinawa Prefecture, while an Aegis destroyer equipped with Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor missiles has been dispatched to the East China Sea. They will remain on alert under the extended order.