Japan launches 2 intelligence satellites
Japan, which hosts about 50,000 U.S. troops, is especially concerned about North Korea because its main islands are already within range of the North's missiles. Along with developing its own network of spy satellites, Japan has cooperated with Washington in establishing an elaborate missile defense shield.
North Korea's powerful National Defense Commission declared last week that the country would carry out a nuclear test and launch more rockets in defiance of the U.N. Security Council's announcement that it would punish Pyongyang for its long-range rocket test in December with more sanctions, calling it a violation of a ban on nuclear and missile activity.
North Korea's state news agency said on Sunday that leader Kim Jong Un vowed at a meeting of top security and foreign officials to take "substantial and high-profile important state measures."
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