North Korea announces 'satellite' launch, Tokyo says

North Korea announces “satellite” launch, according to Tokyo


North Korea has informed Tokyo of a satellite launch in the coming weeks, the Japanese coast guard announced on Monday, a project which according to the Japanese government should however involve a ballistic missile launch.  

Pyongyang told the Japanese Coast Guard that a rocket would be launched between May 31 and June 11 and was expected to land in an area near the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines, a coastguard spokesman told AFP.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's office has his side said on his Twitter account that he had given instructions regarding “the notification of North Korea regarding the launch of a ballistic missile which it describes as a satellite”.

Mr. Kishida ordered relevant ministries and agencies to cooperate in gathering intelligence, while calling for vigilance and cooperation with Japan's allies, including the United States and South Korea, according to the tweet.

Pyongyang has intensified its missile strikes in recent months, some of which have triggered emergency warning systems in Japan.

Seoul and Tokyo have been struggling for weeks to warm up long-standing relations tense, in particular by collaborating more in the face of military threats from North Korea.