Japan announced Monday that it has received a notification from North Korea of its intention to launch a “satellite” in the coming weeks, according to a Japanese Coast Guard spokesman.
Japanese officials believe the launch involved a ballistic missile, according to a tweet from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office that referred to “a ballistic missile that (Pyongyang) describes as a satellite.”
A Japanese coast guard spokesman told AFP that Pyongyang had informed them of its intention to launch a missile between May 31 and June 11 and expected it to fall into waters near the Yellow and East China Seas and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines.
The tweet added that Kishida had issued instructions related to “notifying North Korea about the launch of a ballistic missile, which it describes as a satellite.”
The Japanese prime minister asked officials to gather information, remain vigilant, and coordinate closely with allies including the United States and South Korea, according to the tweet.
Pyongyang has stepped up missile launches in recent months, causing Japan to turn on alarm systems to warn its residents in parts of the country.
Meanwhile, Seoul and Tokyo are mending their strained relations and focusing on strengthening their cooperation in countering North Korea’s military threats.