The Hague (Netherlands), Apr. 1 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned North Korea that its plans to launch a missile is being considered as another provocation against Japan, and hence, North Korea should be ready to face the consequences.
"It is an unfortunate and continuing example of provocation by the North Koreans. Japan has every right to protect and defend its territory," Fox News quoted Clinton, as saying at a conference in The Hague.
Noting possible UN Security Council actions, she added, "There will be consequences."
North Korea has claimed that it is only sending a communications satellite into orbit on a multi-stage rocket between April 4 and 8.
The U.S., South Korea and Japan, however, think that Pyongyang is using the launch to test long-range missile technology, and have warned it would face sanctions under a UN Security Council resolution banning the country from ballistic activity.
Meanwhile, nuclear-enabled North Korea told Japan that intervening in Pyongyang's impending rocket launch would be considered an act of war.
"If Japan tries to intercept the satellite, the North's army will consider this as the start of Japan's war of re-invasion more than six decades after the Second World War, and mercilessly destroy all its interceptor means and citadels with the most powerful military means," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday.
Japan, which says it is only protecting its territory and has no intention of trying to shoot down the rocket itself, has deployed battleships and Patriot missile interceptors off its northern coast to shoot down any rocket debris that the North has said might fall over the area.
Two U.S. destroyers are believed to have departed from South Korea to monitor the rocket launch, according to a Seoul military source. (ANI)