Japan Defense Ministry seeks record-high budget amid N. Korea threat

Pedestrians watch the news on a huge screen displaying a map of Japan and the Korean Peninsula in Tokyo

A day earlier, Trump had warned a defiant North Korea that "all options are on the table".

The current proposal calls for spending on new SM-3 Block IIA interceptors - developed jointly with the U.S. - to counter potential attacks by simultaneous missile launches, as well as a next-generation early-warning and radar system.

Japanese officials have witnessed a demonstration of Spy-6 technology, which boosts the range of BMD radars dozens of times, but efforts to secure the equipment from their ally have come to naught.

"My visit today is a sign of the growing cooperation and partnership that we have on defense matters", May said in comments broadcast on Japanese TV.

North Korea said the launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile on Tuesday was to counter USA and South Korean military drills and was a first step in military action in the Pacific on "containing" the U.S. island territory of Guam. Japan's defence ministry on Thursday said it would request its largest-ever annual budget to beef up its missile defence systems.

In June it said it was imposing the death penalty on the South's former President, Park Geun-Hye and her former spy agency head, Lee Byung-Ho, claiming its state security authorities had foiled a plot by the US and South Korean spy agencies to kill North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un.


British Prime Minister Theresa May, second left, reviews the guard of honor with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, during a welcoming ceremony at the state guest house in Tokyo Thursday Aug. 31, 2017.

Of course, as CNBC notes, China would also be less than thrilled with South Korea developing a nuclear arsenal; Beijing is already running a fairly damaging economic boycott against South Korea to protest the deployment of the American THAAD anti-missile system.

The US Missile Defense Agency and the US Navy conducted the test with the USS John Paul, via the Standard Missile-6 guided missiles (SM-6).

Tokyo plans to build two Aegis Ashore batteries, costing around $700 million each without missiles, the sources said.

Ahead of the planned deployment of Ground Self-Defense Force units tasked to guard Japan's far-flung islands, the ministry sought 55.2 billion yen that includes outlays to build barracks and other facilities on Miyako Island and Amami-Oshima Island, located southwest and northeast of Okinawa's main island, respectively.

Pyongyang's accelerating nuclear and missile development has been giving birth to debate over U.S. military action targeting key facilities in the North.

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