Japan Ready to Destroy N. Korea Rocket
Patriot missiles prepared in Tokyo, on coasts
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 8, 2012 6:40 AM CST
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, center, stands by a ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor during his inspection tour to the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(Newser) – If, after its firing, any piece of North Korea's rocket appears likely to fall in Japanese territory, Tokyo is ready to shoot it from the sky. Patriot missiles are at the ready in Tokyo, Okinawa, and elsewhere on Japan's north and west coasts, the Telegraph reports. Japan has issued similar orders twice in the past, but they've never been carried out, the Wall Street Journal notes. In the Sea of Japan, three destroyers are at the ready with search-and-destroy systems; the US also has ships in position for the planned launch. Satellite photos suggest Pyongyang's rocket should be ready by Monday.