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Tokyo advises Pyongyang to abstain from satellite launch, suspects it to be a pretext for firing a ballistic missile.

Japanese cabinet secretary general Hirokazu Matsuno said Tokyo, along with Washington and Seoul, will urge Pyongyang to refrain from launching a satellite that Tokyo considers a front for launching a ballistic missile.

Matsuno added in a press statement today, Monday, that “the Prime Minister instructed the relevant ministries to collect information and release it in a timely manner in close cooperation with America, South Korea and the countries concerned, and called on North Korea to refrain from launching, and also urged fully prepared in the event of an “emergency”.

Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile “disguised as a satellite launch” a violation of a UN resolution.

In turn, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada ordered the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down a North Korean missile if it threatens the country’s territory.

North Korea briefed Japan on its plan to launch the satellite between May 31 and June 11, according to a Japanese media report Monday.

According to Japan’s Kyodo news agency, North Korea informed the Japanese government of its plan to establish a maritime danger zone during the said period.

Source: agencies

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