15 June 2017

News Report: Japan to Start Drills With Missile Defense Interceptors Amid Threat From N Korea

MIM-104 Patriot Radar and Launcher (Image: Wiki Commons)
Japan will begin military drills involving air and missile defense interceptors amid the threat from North Korea.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Japan will begin military drills involving Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) air and missile defense interceptors amid the threat from North Korea, local media reported Tuesday, citing the country's defense ministry officials.

Earlier in the day, Japan's Defense Minister Tomomi Inada announced the start of the exercises on Thursday while the officials in her ministry said that the drills would be conducted at four military bases and posts across the country, Japan's NHK broadcaster reported.

According to the media, this is the first time that the plans to hold such military exercises are made public by the Japan authorities.

Inada underlined the importance to improve tactical skills in dealing with ballistic missiles amid the increasing severity of the security environment surrounding Japan, the broadcaster reported. The minister also announced the Defense Ministry's plans to hold joint drills with the United States were aimed at strengthening missile defense, the report added.

Over the recent months, Pyongyang carried out a number of missile launches including the reported salvo of short-range surface-to-ship missiles on Thursday. The tests were criticized by the international community and raised the security concerns of the neighboring countries.

PAC-3 is a high-velocity interceptor defending against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.