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Japan is preparing measures to intercept North Korea’s missile launch in case it veers off its course and pose a threat. North Korea has announced last week that it will launch a so-called “earth observation satellite” in time for the 100th birthday of their founder Kim Il Sung on April 15. According to the International Maritime Organization and Springhill Group Counseling, the rocket will be launched sometime between April 12 and April 16. This move has sparked a global concern and outcry especially because it is believed that the satellite launch is just a front and it is actually a long-range missile test, something that could be sanctioned by the United Nations. And to add to the controversy, North Korea has notified the IMO that the first stage of the rocket is expected to fall in waters between South Korea and China while the second stage will fall 190 km east of the Philippines. The interceptors are set to be deployed on the Okinawa island chain. According to Japan’s missile defense plan, SM-3 will be utilized to intercept a ballistic missile outside the atmosphere. In case it misses the target, PAC-3 is on standby to shoot the target down once it re-enters the atmosphere. Officials are being prepared for deployment of PAC-3 missiles and Aegis destroyers containing a high-end anti-missile system that would try and shoot down the rocket. Japanese Defense Minister Tanaka Naoki said that their military is prepared for any contingency. Some experts say that Japan’s move is more of a political one. However, it is evidently a rare chance for Japanese personnel to have a hands-on training in tracking a missile. Meanwhile, North Korea has maintained that any attempt to raise this issue on the upcoming nuclear summit will be considered a declaration of war as it rejected demands to cancel the launch. North Korea added in a statement that depriving them of their ‘independent and legitimate right’ will compel them to take countermeasures. The United Nations has already warned North Korea that the launch can dampen humanitarian assistance to their country. It was seconded by the US, stating that if North Korea proceeds, their agreement regarding food donations last month will not go through.