April 12 - The world waits for North Korea's rocket launch. Julie Noce reports.
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As the world waits for North Korea to make good on it's promise to launch a rocket, neighbours like Japan take pre-emptive measures.
Patriot Advanced Capability missiles in southern Japan are pointed north towards North Korea, prepared to bring down the rocket should it veer into Japanese territory.
In Okinawa U.S. fighter jets and other large sized aircraft were seen taking off early Thursday morning in what's believe to be support missions.
And in Tokyo, cheery blossoms and PAC-3 missile launchers sit side by side ready for any possibility.
Japan's Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda.
(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER YOSHIHIKO NODA SAYING:
"We will be fully prepared and on alert till the very end until the launch and ensure the safety of the Japanese people in case of any danger."
While North Korea maintains their rocket only carries a weather satellite, the launch would be a breach of U.N. sanctions put in place to prevent the country from developing missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead.
Here along the demilitarized border between North and South Korea, tourists echo a sentiment expressed by friends and foes alike: don't launch the rocket.
North Korea says it will deploy the rocket sometime between April 12th and 16th, between 7am and noon.
Julie Noce, Reuters