Defense Minister Stresses Need For Aegis Ashore

Defense minister stresses need for Aegis Ashore

Japan's defense minister has stressed the need for a new land-based missile defense system following North Korea's test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM, on Wednesday.

Taro Kono told reporters on Friday that it's vital that the country introduce the Aegis Ashore system, which is designed to track and intercept incoming missiles.

Kono said Pyongyang possesses a considerable number of ballistic missiles that can reach Japan.

The Japanese government has confirmed it's likely that the missile North Korea fired on Wednesday was an SLBM with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers.

Kono went on to express support for US-North Korea working-level talks scheduled to be held in Stockholm this weekend. He said the talks are the key to achieving the North's "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, or CVID."

But he added that Japan and the US agree that the North should stop provocative test-firings of missiles of any range, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.