Japanese officials have ordered the military to be ready at any moment to shoot down an incoming North Korean missile strike. The order puts military personnel on high alert for at least three months, according to state broadcaster NHK. The order is a direct result of North Korea’s increasingly aggressive missile tests that have been universally condemned. North Korea has launched several missiles into the Sea of Japan in the past few months and reportedly conduced a nuclear bomb test as recently as January 6, 2016. The most recent ballistic missile test came just one week before the Japanese defense order.
Military officials were forced into action after North Korea’s most recent test put a ballistic missile approximately 155 miles off the coast of Northern Japan.
In the past Japanese military officials have issued temporary high-alert orders after North Korean missile tests. Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, has called the missile tests a “serious threat” and “an intolerable act of recklessness.” North Korea has continued to carry out these tests in spite of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council that prohibit the country from carrying out any type of ballistic missile tests.
The impoverished country seems to have ramped up its missile testing efforts after declaring war on the United States last month. The United States specifically targeted Kim Jong-Un by naming him on their list of “sanctioned-people” on July 6, 2016. They country of North Korea has had several sanctions placed on them by both the UN and the U.S., however, this marked the first time Jong-Un was sanctioned specifically. Director-General of the US affairs department in Pyongyang, Han Song Ryol, claims this was the “final straw” for the deranged leader of North Korea. He told the Associated Press:
“The United States has crossed the red line in our showdown. We regard this thrice-cursed crime as a declaration of war.”
The Japanese government has decided to keep their military on high-alert because the missiles launched by North Korea are sometimes hard to detect. Han Song Ryol has also issued threats to the U.S. and South Korea, warning them of a “vicious showdown” if the two countries carry out their annual war games.