POSTED: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 7:30am
UPDATED: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 7:34am
NBC News — Japan has officially ordered its military to shoot down a rocket North Korea plans to launch next month, if the rocket threatens Japanese territory. Earlier this month, the North Koreans announced they would use a rocket to launch a weather satellite to mark the 100th anniversary of founding ruler Kim Il-Sung. The launch will be between April 12th and 16th.
Japan, and its allies, are suspicious of the launch. After a meeting of the Japanese security council, Tokyo approved orders that allows its self defense forces to shoot down the rocket if it threatens Japanese territory. Japan plans to deploy destroyers and ground based interceptors in various areas of Japan, including downtown Tokyo, in advance of the launch.