Japan deploys missile interceptors along expected flight path from North Korea – Forward Observer Shop

Japan deploys missile interceptors along expected flight path from North Korea

Japanese defense officials have redeployed a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 unit to the southern portion of the island of Hokkaido, along the flight path of two recent ICBM launched by North Korea.

The move comes after the defense ministry ordered deployment of four PAC-3 units to southwestern Japan after Pyongyang warned it would launch missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam, home to Andersen Air Force Base and a large contingent of U.S. forces.

Japan has a two-tiered missile shield. The first layer of defense is comprised of Aegis system-equipped destroyers employing SM-3 interceptors; the second layer consists of 34 PAC-3’s, most of which are deployed to defend the capital. [source]

The moves signal Tokyo’s increased concerns over North Korean ballistic missile capabilities and enhanced understanding of the need to better defend itself. Twice in the past month, Japanese officials have sounded air raid alarms in response to North Korean missile launches, alarming its population.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 3: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-North Korea war?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region. Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.


Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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