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Japan considers intercepting Korea missile

TOKYO, March 17 (UPI) -- Japan's government is considering a measure to destroy a satellite North Korea is preparing to launch if it falls into Japanese territory, officials said.

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada that the government plans to order the Self-Defense Forces to take measures to prepare for the possible intercept of what is seen as a Taepodong-2 long-range ballistic missile, Kyodo reported Tuesday.

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The news service said the plan, which includes the deployment of ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors, could be approved as early as the end of the month.

Kyodo also reported that sources said Tokyo is considering deploying two Aegis-equipped destroyers carrying Standard Missile-3 ballistic missile interceptors. One of the ships would be sent to the Sea of Japan and the other to the Pacific Ocean.

The news service said Pyongyang has told the International Maritime Organization it plans to launch a satellite rocket sometime between April 4 and April 8.

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