Japan, South Korea to take joint steps against DPRK if it went ahead with rocket launch; Japan commissions its largest helicopter carrier; Chinese Defence Minister urges Japan and other parties to ‘keep cool heads’ regarding DPRK’s proposed rocket launch
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  • Reports indicated that Japan and South Korea will jointly seek steps against communist North Korea if it went ahead with a planned rocket launch in defiance of a UN resolution1. Japan has also asserted that it will clear the way for the deployment of ballistic missile interceptors as it prepares for the possibility that a North Korean rocket could fall into its territory2.

    The Japanese navy meanwhile commissioned its largest helicopter carrier. It was however stressed that the destroyer complied with the country's post-war pacifist constitution3.

    The Japanese and Chinese defence ministers Yasukazu Hamada and Liang Guanglie also met in Beijing and discussed various issues of common interest, including the DPRK’s planned rocket launch. Reports noted that the differences of opinion between the two countries on how to deal with DPRK were evident in the comments made by Liang, who reportedly told Hamada that "it would be best if North Korea does not fire a rocket,” but urged Japan and other parties to “keep cool heads4."