The government will accelerate work to strengthen the interception of missiles following the development by North Korea of ballistic missiles that can not be easily detected after launch, informed sources have said.
Specifically, a Defense Ministry panel headed by state minister Kenji Wakamiya is slated to study the performance and costs of the United States’ cutting-edge Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and Aegis Ashore, a land-based component of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, the sources said on Tuesday.
The government aims to draw up specific measures to be included in the next medium-term defense program for fiscal 2019-2023.
North Korea is “improving its nuclear and missile capabilities at considerably high speed,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a House of Representative Budget Committee meeting the same day. “We should work day-to-day to keep up with the pace.”
At a news conference, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada pointed to the possibility that solid fuel was used for the North Korean ballistic missile launched on Sunday.
Missiles with solid fuel can be launched more quickly than those with liquid fuel, making it harder for other countries to respond promptly.
Pyongyang has also been testing hard-to-detect missile-firing using a mobile launch pad and a submarine.