PAC-3 interceptors to intercept N. Korean rocket from Okinawa

With an earlier unsuccessful North Korean rocket launch as a rehearsal, Japanese forces are preparing once more for a launch believed to be coming over Japanese territory.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force transport ship Kunisaki on Monday morning left the MSDF base in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, carrying missile interceptors to be deployed in Okinawa to prepare for North Korea’s planned rocket launch.  The ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors are to be deployed at several locations in Okinawa Prefecture. The Kunisaki and another MSDF transport ship, the Osumi, are to arrive at Okinawa in a few days.

North Korea has announced it plans to launch an “earth observation satellite” sometime between Dec. 10 and 22, following an unsuccessful attempt to launch a long-range rocket in April.