By Yu Runze, Sina English
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is filling up a fuel tank at a missile launch site as it prepares to inject fuel into a long-range rocket which is scheduled to blast off as early as Monday, a senior military source in Seoul said Friday.
According to the source, the South Korean government has spotted increased activities near the fuel storage at the Dongchang-ri launch site in the DPRK's northwest, where a three-stage rocket has been installed since earlier this week.
"As soon as the DPRK completes injecting fuel into the storage, it is expected to supply the rocket with fuel," the source said on the condition of anonymity.
"Fuel injection could begin Saturday,” the source added.
The fuel storage tank is located about 80 meters away from the 50-meter-high launch pad.
Japan officially issues order to intercept DPRK’s rocket
The Japanese government on Friday issued an order to shoot down the DPRK’s rocket if it threatens the nation’s territory, Japan’s Jiji Press news agency said.
Japan has readied a surface-to-air missile defense system and is putting its armed forces on standby ahead of the DPRK’s missile launch. Tokyo is also deploying Aegis warships in neighboring waters.
Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto issued an advance order to Japanese forces to shoot down the rocket or its parts, according to the news agency.
Washington and Seoul have urged Pyongyang to scrap the launch while Tokyo has postponed talks with the DPRK.
US Navy to track DPRK’s satellite
The US Navy is sending its ships to track the launching of a DPRK satellite, Admiral Samuel Locklear, the head of the US Pacific Command told journalists.
He pointed out that it was logical to send ships to that region because they would obtain the most reliable information. However, he did not specify the region of the ships’ stationing.
The DPRK recently announced its intention to launch a rocket with a satellite between the 10th and the 22nd of December.
The first launch in April ended in failure.
S. Korea to deploy Israeli-made radars to guard DPRK's rocket
South Korea will deploy newly-introduced missile defense radars as soon as acceptance testing is completed in order to better guard against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s rocket, a military source said.
South Korea brought in two Israeli-made "Green Pine" radars this year, one of them in August and the other last month, and has since been conducting tests to ensure they have no defects.
"Acceptance testing of the Green Pine radar No. 1 came to an end Wednesday with a final assessment of 24-hour continuous operation," the source said.
Testing of the second radar will be completed by mid-December and deployed thereafter, the source said
"It will be deployed immediately after the acceptance testing and will be in service when the DPRK launches its long-range rocket."
The DPRK plans to launch a long-range rocket between Dec.10 and 22 to put an earth observation satellite into orbit.
The new advanced radars, capable of detecting targets at ranges of up to about 500 kilometers, will be tasked with tracking the flight path of the DPRK’s rocket, together with two Aegis warships equipped with the SPY-1 radar that can detect targets as far away as 1,000 km.