• Kyodo


The government will take all necessary measures to swiftly disclose information related to North Korea’s launch of a rocket later this month, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said.

“We will make efforts so the correct information will be available to the Japanese people,” Noda said in a group interview Monday. His remarks come after the government was criticized for its delay in announcing Pyongyang’s previous attempt to launch a rocket.

In April, the government failed to announce a rocket had blasted off from North Korea until about 40 minutes after Pyongyang actually launched it, despite having obtained information about the launch from U.S. forces. It said the notification was delayed because it needed to “double-check” the facts.

North Korea announced Saturday it will launch a Kwangmyongsong-3 polar-orbiting Earth observation satellite by carrier rocket Unha-3 in the period between Dec. 10 and 22. The move is believed to be a test of long-range missile technology.

Yonhap News Agency reported Sunday that North Korea had informed Japan that the launch would be carried out between 7 a.m. and noon.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura noted, based on previous failed launches, that the likelihood of debris from the missile falling on Japanese territory is remote. “We would like the public to continue their daily activities,” he said.

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