北朝鮮ミサイル 「不意打ち」への備えは万全か

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 7, 2013
EDITORIAL / Make thorough preparations for N. Korean surprise missile launch
北朝鮮ミサイル 「不意打ち」への備えは万全か(4月6日付・読売社説)

North Korea’s threatening words and actions have escalated even further recently.

We’re no longer at a stage where Pyongyang’s rhetoric and behavior can be considered mere provocations. Japan needs to make preparations to swiftly address any contingency by strengthening cooperation with the United States and South Korea.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin said Thursday that North Korea has moved a medium-range ballistic missile to the Sea of Japan coast. This missile is a Musudan type that has a range of more than 3,000 kilometers, capable of reaching the U.S. Pacific island of Guam.

The United States has since dispatched a sea-based high-performance X-band radar, which has early warning capability, and two Aegis-equipped destroyers to the western Pacific and areas near the Korean Peninsula. Washington also decided to deploy a state-of-the-art missile defense system to Guam to be ready within weeks.

‘Real and clear danger’

The United States has apparently taken seriously the enhancement of North Korea’s nuclear attack capability, described by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as a “real and clear danger,” as a threat to itself and its allies, Japan and South Korea.

Late last month, Kim Jong Un, the first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, approved a plan to attack the U.S. mainland, Hawaii and Guam if the United States attacks the country. The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling party, listed U.S. military bases in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture; Misawa, Aomori Prefecture; and Okinawa Prefecture as potential attack targets.

By flaunting North Korea’s strike capability at home and abroad, Kim probably also aims to bolster his authority. However, any moves that raise tensions in Northeast Asia should not be taken lightly.

Japan is within the reach of North Korea’s Rodong medium-range ballistic missiles, which have already been deployed in a war scenario. Japan must ratchet up its vigilance and surveillance activities another notch.

Unlike North Korea’s test-firing of long-range ballistic missiles in 2009 and 2012, which it announced in advance as a satellite launch, it is highly likely the country would launch a missile without prior notice about the timing and where the missile is expected to fall.

The government must assume various possible contingencies and take all possible measures to prepare for a North Korean missile launch.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed the deputy chief cabinet secretary for crisis management to take action on three points: thoroughly collecting and analyzing information on North Korea’s moves; quickly and accurately providing information to the public; and ensuring people’s safety and security. We think these measures are appropriate.

Defenders must be on guard

In preparation for a possible missile launch by North Korea, the government has begun discussions toward issuing an order that would authorize the Self-Defense Forces to intercept a missile with a missile defense system. Preparations should also be made without delay for the J-Alert system to be used to warn of a possible missile launch.

Taking on a policy of strengthening its nuclear arsenal capability, North Korea also announced that it will restart all mothballed facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

To prepare for contingencies on the Korean Peninsula, the Japanese government must discuss measures in close consultation with the South Korean government, with the protection of Japanese nationals in South Korea also in mind.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 6, 2013)
(2013年4月6日01時24分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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