PAC-3s Okinawa-bound before North Korean launch

he Maritime Self-Defense Force transport ship Kunisaki left Monday morning from the MSDF base in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, carrying missile interceptors to be deployed in Okinawa for North Korea’s stated plan to launch a satellite.

The ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors are to be deployed at several locations in Okinawa. The Kunisaki and another MSDF transport, the Osumi, are to arrive at Okinawa in a few days.

North Korea announced Saturday that it plans to launch an “Earth observation satellite” between Dec. 10 and 22, following an unsuccessful attempt to launch a long-range rocket in April.

The first stage has been placed in position at the North’s Sohae launch station, a South Korean government source told Yonhap news agency.

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