Japan Mulls Interception of N. Korean Rocket

#1
From Agence France Press, 26 March 2009:

Japan on Friday gave its military the green light to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket, with tensions high ahead of a planned launch that the US and allies say will be an illegal missile test.

Japanese and US warships have already deployed ahead of the April 4-8 window, when the secretive North has said it will launch a communications satellite -- warning that shooting it down would be seen as an act of war.



"Japan says ready to shoot down N.Korea missile"
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iSVb79oJIEaUmpZZh2ffrRrFgytQ
 
#2
I was in Japan yesterday and the English language newspapers report that PAC-3 Patriot missile systems are to be deployed to the Tohoku(North east)region,the area most likely to be overflown by any North Korean misslie launch.

Should this missile be launched and the Japanese(or anyone else)shoot it down,there could be an 'interesting' outcome.
 
#3
I'm a bit confused as to why Japan/US should shoot down a launch intended to put a satellite in orbit...
.... And what the feck is an 'illegal missile launch' if it isn't aimed at anyone?
.... And how silly will they look if they try, and miss?
 
#5
I don't think they said they're going to shoot it down anyway, just if it looks like it might land on Japanese territory if something goes wrong-whats wrong with that? Its a highly provocative move by the NKs, the Japs have a perfect right to take precautions in event of problems...
 
#6
it always makes me giggle how the only countries in the world allowed to play with missiles are America and its friends, everyone else is being very very naughty and not playing by the rules

hypocrisy
 
#7
Just wondering why Japan wants to provoke this against a nation that hates them with a passion , and with very good reason.

Have the NK's checked Wonsan Harbour for midget subs yet? :D
 
#8
Chuffit said:
I'm a bit confused as to why Japan/US should shoot down a launch intended to put a satellite in orbit...
....
Because, rockets don't go straight up. They follow an inclined plane counter to the earths direction of rotation.
Put simply, if you want to launch a rocket in Korea, and get it into orbit, you need to overfly Japan.
 
#9
Two thoughts:

1. It could be a missile launch disguised as a satellite launch.
2. If it is, it isn't much of a missile since it takes days to prepare it.
 
#10
hammy123 said:
it always makes me giggle how the only countries in the world allowed to play with missiles are America and its friends, everyone else is being very very naughty and not playing by the rules

hypocrisy
ahhh, you mean like, Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, India???? course the North Koreans, such lovely people, with a long history of space research and Satellite technology 8O
 
#11
Plastic Yank said:
hammy123 said:
it always makes me giggle how the only countries in the world allowed to play with missiles are America and its friends, everyone else is being very very naughty and not playing by the rules

hypocrisy
ahhh, you mean like, Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, India???? course the North Koreans, such lovely people, with a long history of space research and Satellite technology 8O
A country with such high living standards,where nobody ever goes hungary......er,hmm.
 
#12
Chuffit said:
I'm a bit confused as to why Japan/US should shoot down a launch intended to put a satellite in orbit...
From what I've read, the missile has nothing to do with satellites. It's a test of a ballistic missile intended to deliver a significant payload to Japan or South Korea. There's less reliable speculation that Uncle Kim has a nuclear warhead in development that's small enough to sit atop the missile.

There's no serious concern that this missile forms part of some sort of deliberate attack. However, given the state of North Korea's technology sector, there are well founded fears that the missile will go t1ts up and come down on a populated area of Japan. Hence the Japs are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst with Aegis ABM ships at sea and Patriot batteries set up around Tokyo.


Chuffit said:
.... And what the feck is an 'illegal missile launch' if it isn't aimed at anyone?
North Korea is banned by the UN from launching missiles.


Chuffit said:
.... And how silly will they look if they try, and miss?
Indeed. The Japanese Navy uses the American ABM Mk 3 Standard Missile. The American ABM programme has had a troubled history with many failures but recent tests by the US and Japanese navies have been successful against missiles and satellites.

Trouble is, the SM-3 warhead contains no explosives. It disables its target by colliding with it at high speed. The target then falls to earth in big chunks. This is preferable to blowing a radioactive warhead into powder and distributing fallout over a wide area.

However, in this case, there is almost certainly no radioactive warhead to worry about. The prospect of big chunks of hot, North Korean scrap landing on Tokyo is almost as worrying as an intact missile falling out of the sky. They could damage some of the vending machines that dispense schoolgirls' used underwear in Tokyo's less salubrious establishments.

Hence the pantie protecting Patriot batteries that will provide a last line of defence against any potentially knicker incinerating lumps of hot metal that might rain down from the edge of space onto Japanese sex shops.
 
#13
IIRC Japan is a development partner in Aegis SM3 ABM. The Kongo class ABM destroyers are basically Japanified Arliegh Burkes. No doubt the new South Korean DDG's will have some form of ABM capability as well to complement ROK's Patriots. Several Gulf states are also getting PAC3 to defend against ballistic missiles.

And the UK's capabilities in this increasingly important area of warfare are?
 
#14
AndyPipkin said:
IIRC Japan is a development partner in Aegis SM3 ABM. The Kongo class ABM destroyers are basically Japanified Arliegh Burkes. No doubt the new South Korean DDG's will have some form of ABM capability as well to complement ROK's Patriots. Several Gulf states are also getting PAC3 to defend against ballistic missiles.

And the UK's capabilities in this increasingly important area of warfare are?
Oo, Oo, me Sir, me Sir, is it sod all? (1)

(1) Other than US toys at Menwith Hill
 
#15
AP

Thee Type 45 and the Sea Viper (formally known as PAAMS) system with have a TBMD capability - unfortunately the system isn't fully operational until 2011! Discussed here - including a link to a presentation on the missile.

I share your concern though. Six T45s are a start but....

Why not an Army field system (upgraded Rapier, Arrow, PAC3?) and could air launched weapons be used against incoming missiles?

Anyway, bit a thread creep. Sorry!
 
#16
PE4rocks said:
AndyPipkin said:
IIRC Japan is a development partner in Aegis SM3 ABM. The Kongo class ABM destroyers are basically Japanified Arliegh Burkes. No doubt the new South Korean DDG's will have some form of ABM capability as well to complement ROK's Patriots. Several Gulf states are also getting PAC3 to defend against ballistic missiles.

And the UK's capabilities in this increasingly important area of warfare are?
Oo, Oo, me Sir, me Sir, is it sod all? (1)

(1) Other than US toys at Menwith Hill
How dare you sir! The long fabled Aster 45 missile will make the Royal Navy invulnerable to ballistic nasties.

Err, that's if it ever gets developed and if the rest of the Type 45s ever get built and if their brand new Sylver-50 launchers are ripped out to be replaced by Sylver-70 launchers that are big enough for the new missile.

Until then, we could always try welding the Phalanx guns off decommissioned/unusable Type 42s onto the back of Snatch Land Rovers. Hey, as about half the Royal Navy's Lynx fleet is unflyable, we could park the new 'Snatch Anti-Ballistic Missile' system on the flight decks of chopperless frigates. We'd have the biggest ABM fleet in the world!
 
#17
sandmanfez said:
Chuffit said:
I'm a bit confused as to why Japan/US should shoot down a launch intended to put a satellite in orbit...
....
Because, rockets don't go straight up. They follow an inclined plane counter to the earths direction of rotation.
Put simply, if you want to launch a rocket in Korea, and get it into orbit, you need to overfly Japan.
What is the international law about a rocket flying over another country's territory? If this crossed into Japanese airspace (does this - roughly - extend to the edge of the atmosphere?) without Japanese permission, would they be entitled to shoot it down, as they could an aircraft?
 
#18
I seem to recall that the last NK launch a couple of years ago was a bit of a fizzle. Should this launch be another flop, what are the odds of Dear Leader claiming that it was intercepted to save face?
 
#19
Pork_Pie said:
What is the international law about a rocket flying over another country's territory? If this crossed into Japanese airspace (does this - roughly - extend to the edge of the atmosphere?) without Japanese permission, would they be entitled to shoot it down, as they could an aircraft?
Pure conjecture on my part, but I'd imagine there must be some get-out clause or else international law would have been invoked to cripple the opposition's space programmes in the Cold War?

I can't see any DPRK space programme getting going in the near future. This strikes me as a bit of sabre rattling in advance of the next round of six-party talks.
 
#20
smartascarrots said:
Pork_Pie said:
What is the international law about a rocket flying over another country's territory? If this crossed into Japanese airspace (does this - roughly - extend to the edge of the atmosphere?) without Japanese permission, would they be entitled to shoot it down, as they could an aircraft?
Pure conjecture on my part, but I'd imagine there must be some get-out clause or else international law would have been invoked to cripple the opposition's space programmes in the Cold War?

I can't see any DPRK space programme getting going in the near future. This strikes me as a bit of sabre rattling in advance of the next round of six-party talks.
Perhaps US & Soviet rockets reached space before they travelled over an unfriendly country? (Conjecture on my part, too. Don't know much about this topic.)

Agree re sabre rattling, don't think the DPRK flag will be flying on the moon anytime soon.
 

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