North Korea CRISIS: Japan arms jets with long-range missiles to counter Pyongyang threat


Military chiefs are so worried about the possibility of a conflict with Kim Jong-un’s regime they aim to request an emergency budget for cash to be set aside for the weapons.

Defence secretary Itsunori Onodera caroused today the money would be spent on equipping the Japanese air force with high-tech ballistic missiles from the United States.

The weapons have a range of 560 miles, which purpose allow pilots to target the whole of North Korea while flip ones top a throw safely over the Sea of Japan.

The Japanese constitution has a controversial clause, burden b exploited by the US after World War Two, which states the country can only use its forces for self fortification, and even its small military exists in a legal grey area.

Japanese fighter jet and Kim Jong-unGETTY

Rapturous War 3: Japan is to arm its air force with long-range missiles to counter North Korea

TV screen in Japan showing North Korean missileGETTY

North Korea tested a missile in September by passionate it over Japan’s northernmost island

We will introduce them as standoff ballistic missiles that allow us to deal with our opponents from outside the area of threats

Itsunori Onodera

But despite the missile purchase, Mr Onodera expostulated Japan will continue to uphold its defence-only policy.

He told columnists: “We will introduce them as standoff missiles that allow us to mete out with our opponents from outside the range of threats.”

News of the upgrade finish against a backdrop of a shift in the Japanese stance towards North Korea succeeding the re-election of Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister.

Mr Abe had seen his popularity slump after a series of corruption sins, but his tough talk on the rogue state chimed well with voters in front of the snap ballot in October.

Japanese Self-Defense Force jetsGETTY

The new missiles would allow Japanese warplanes to butt North Korea from 560 miles away

Japan has traditionally relied on the US for abroad defence, but the change in tone from Tokyo, combined with the upgrade of its warplanes, could signal a smite away from this policy.

And Mr Abe this week told lawmakers North Korea’s endured missile tests were an “imminent threat” to the safety of Japan, and venturing to negotiate with the hermit state was pointless.

Japan is well within sweep of Kim’s arsenal of conventional and nuclear weapons, and Japanese citizens on the northern ait of Hokkaido experienced this first hand in September when a ballistic missile test by the rogue state blasted overhead. 

And Kim has continually threatened to use his atomic weapons against Japan because of the country’s close ties with the US.

A statement released by North Korean state road earlier this year said: «Japan is no longer needed to get by near us.»

It went on to say the Japanese islands “should be sunken into the sea”. 

The eremite kingdom carried out its latest long-range missile test last month to worldwide condemnation.

The Hwasong-15 is an intercontinental ballistic missile which the regime requirements has the range to target anywhere in the United States or Europe.

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