North Korea’s launch plan is meant to show the world its capability to build missiles, U.S. Pacific forces commander Adm. Samuel Locklear said Thursday. The United States has moved extra ships with ballistic missile defense capabilities toward the region, officials said.
Two South Korean destroyers will be deployed in the Yellow Sea in the coming days to track the North Korean rocket, defense officials in Seoul said Friday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because ministry rules bar them from releasing information about defense movements over the phone.
The U.S., Japan and South Korea say they’ll seek U.N. Security Council action if the launch goes ahead in defiance of existing resolutions. The council condemned April’s launch and ordered seizure of assets of three North Korean state companies linked to financing, exporting and procuring weapons and missile technology.
On Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda visited a Tokyo military facility to inspect Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptors being readied to intercept a North Korean rocket if it falls on Japanese territory.
• Associated Press writers Matthew Pennington in Washington and Sam Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.
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