Japan DM says N. Korea's missile launch no threat

TOKYO, May 31 (KUNA) — Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said Tuesday that North Korea’s reported launch of a Musudan medium-range ballistic missile earlier in the day had no impact on Japan’s security, but Japan will stay alert.
“We have no confirmation that any projectiles head for Japan. No event or circumstance influencing Japan’s security has occurred,” Nakatani told reporters after South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North fired a missile, which is believed to have ended in failure.
“North Korea has not changed its stance to move ahead with nuclear and missile development. We cannot deny the possibility that North Korea will launch another ballistic missile,” said Nakatani.
“We will continue to engage in intelligence gathering and surveillance in coordination with the US and South Korea,” said the minister, adding that he will hold a trilateral meeting with his US and South Korean counterparts on the sidelines of the Asia Security Summit due from Friday in Singapore.
On Monday, the Defense Ministry deployed ground-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor units at several locations in the Tokyo metropolitan area, including the ministry’s headquarters, to shoot down any North Korean missiles or debris threatening to fall onto Japanese territory.
Pyongyang also fired what appeared to be Musudan missiles from the area on three occasions in April, but they all exploded immediately after the launch. (pickup previous) mk.hb

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