China says no plans to shoot down N.Korean rocket
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China has no plans for special operations against North Korea’s upcoming rocket launch, a Chinese Air Force General said on Monday.
North Korea announced plans last month to launch what it says is a communications satellite from its Musudan-ri launch site on April 4-8. However, the U.S., Japan and South Korea believe that the secretive state is planning to test its Taepodong-2 long-range missile.
“China has focused on how to defuse tensions and bring about reconciliation… China believes that peace is golden,” China Daily quoted Lt. Gen. Liu Chengjun, president of the Beijing-based Academy of Military Science, as saying.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday that the United States would not shoot down the rocket, as it does not pose a threat to the U.S.
“I think if we had a missile that was heading for Hawaii, that looked like it was headed for Hawaii or something like that, we might consider it,” Gates told Fox News. “I don’t think we have any plans to do anything like that at this point.”
Japan’s Security Council gave approval on Friday for the military to destroy the North Korean rocket.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned on Saturday that the launch would complicate peace and stability in northeast Asia.