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Japan's lower house passes resolution against DPRK rocket launch

(Xinhua)

15:54, April 12, 2012

TOKYO, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The lower house of Japan's parliament on Thursday approved a resolution against the planned satellite launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ( DPRK) this month.

The document said moves that will damage the peace and stability in Northeast Asia should never be allowed, no matter whether it is a carrier rocket or ballistic missile which the DPRK plans to launch.

The resolution regarded the launch as a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and urged the DPRK to abandon the plan.

The DPRK last month announced its plan to launch an "earth observation" satellite between April 12 and 16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of DPRK founder Kim Il Sung.

The announcement has triggered strong reactions from countries including the United States, South Korea and Japan. South Korea maintained that the DPRK's satellite launch may actually be a test of a long-range missile.

Pyongyang denied the reports of a ballistic missile and insisted that the launch is a peaceful program aimed at developing the DPRK's economy and raising the people's living standard.

Japan is on high alert against the planned launch Thursday. Japan's Self-Defense Force had installed ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors on Okinawa, Ishigaki and Miyako islands and in Tokyo to intercept any part of the rocket that may threaten the Japanese territory.

Three Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyers carrying high-performance radars and SM-3 missiles have also been deployed to protect the country, according to Defense Ministry officials.

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