Tokyo has reportedly begun deploying Patriot missile systems after North Korea threatened to target the US Pacific territory of Guam with ballistic missiles traveling over the Japanese skies.
The country’s Defense Ministry on Saturday started deploying the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system in Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi in western Japan, which Pyongyang said it could be along the flight path of its missiles, Japan’s national public broadcaster NHK reported.
It further added that the Japanese military will also deploy the anti-missile system in neighboring Ehime Prefecture covering the northwest quarter of Shikoku Island.
The country’s Kyodo news agency also cited a Defense Ministry official as saying that the government hopes to complete the deployment in western Japan by Saturday morning.
The development came after Pyongyang said it was “carefully examining” a plan for a missile strike on Guam sometime in mid-August in a drill aimed at preparing to counter a potential US military action.