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Japan

North Korea Warns Japan That Tokyo Will Be Its First Target

YONYAP (South Korea), JAPAN TIMES, THE DIPLOMAT (Japan)

Worldcrunch

TOKYO – North Korea warned Japan on Friday that Tokyo would be its first target of a nuclear strike if it continued to maintain its hostile stance, reports Yonyap news agency.

North Korea criticized Tokyo’s standing orders to destroy any missile heading toward Japan, threatening that such actions would result in a nuclear attack against the nation, reports Yonyap.

This week Japan deployed Patriot PAC-3 antimissile defense units to three locations in and around Tokyo to defend against North Korean missile strikes, reports the Japan Times. One of the patriot batteries is located at the Defense Ministry, in the center of Tokyo, while the other two are located at military bases in the suburbs. The population of Tokyo’s greater population area is estimated at over 35 million people.

Earlier, Japan had deployed two Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan to monitor the launch of North Korean ballistic missiles, which Kim Jung-un threatened to use against the U.S. and South Korea. Aegis destroyers are equipped with SM-3 Interceptor missiles that are designed to intercept missiles after they have just been launched, while Patriot PAC-3 systems are designed to shoot down missiles that have evaded the SM-3 Interceptors, explains the Japan Times.

A North Korean Rodong missile aimed at the center of Tokyo would have a 50-50 chance of landing inside the Yamanote railway line that circles the city, according to the Diplomat.

Japan’s constitution forbids offensive military operations – that is why its army is called the “Self-Defense Forces” – but shooting down a North Korean missile would be considered a defensive measure. Prime Minister Abe said this week that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces were “taking every measure” to defend Japan.

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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