Sources from Russia’s Strategic Missile Troops were reported to have said yesterday that the service had been notified by North Korea of Pyongyang’s intention to test-fire a ballistic missile sometime in the near future. No other details were reported. Russian missile defense forces said yesterday that they had detected no signs of an imminent test-firing of a ballistic missile in North Korea, but did not rule out the possibility of a launch. (Kyodo, Russian agencies, September 9)
Russia and Japan have each indicated in recent days their expectation that North Korea could soon launch a second ballistic missile. Each country has placed some of its military forces on heightened alert as a result. On August 31 Pyongyang unexpectedly conducted what is thought to have been the first test of a medium-range ballistic missile. That move alarmed the Japanese and caused concern in Russia as well. Most Russian news sources at the time suggested that the country’s Strategic Missile Troops had received no warning of that launch from North Korea. Japanese authorities have warned that they would view a second missile launch by North Korea as “totally unacceptable,” and that any such launch would be met with a “resolute stance” by Japan. (Washington Post, September 4)
JAPAN-RUSSIA FORUM IS LAUNCHED IN TOKYO.