Military vehicles carry ground-based ballistic missile interceptors into Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) transport vessel Oosumi (R) at the MSDF base in Kure, Hiroshima prefecture for Okinawa on February 4, 2016. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS
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South Korea and Japan vowed to shoot down any debris that falls on their territories from a long-range rocket that North Korea plans to fire this month, with Seoul saying Thursday that it has detected launch preparations by Pyongyang.South Korea's Defense Ministry said Thursday that the North is pushing ahead with the launch plans at its west coast Tongchang-ri launch site.This suggests that the North is preparing for a space launch in coming weeks, according to 38 North, a North Korea-focused website run by the U.S-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.North Korea has spent decades trying to develop operational nuclear weapons along with missiles capable of striking the mainland United States.Each new rocket launch improves North Korea's missile technology, which is crucial for its goal of developing a nuclear-armed missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
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