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Japan Prepares For North Korea “Emergency”

Japan Prepares For North Korea “Emergency”

Judging by the precautionary actions of North Korea’s neighbors, the next 48 hours on the Korean peninsula could see substantial volatility, because at the same time as China’s largest carrier was said to suspend flights to Pyongyang, the Japanese government has asked the U.S. to provide advance consultation if it is about to launch military action against North Korea, and “has ramped up preparations for emergency situations” according to Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, including the potential evacuation of some 57,000 Japanese citizens currently in South Korea.

According to the Japanese publication, PM Shinzo Abe stressed that the region is becoming increasingly tense. “[U.S. President Donald Trump] has stated that all options are on the table. It’s a fact tensions are rising,” he said at the Prime Minister’s Office after receiving a written proposal calling for tougher sanctions on North Korea from the Liberal Democratic Party’s Eriko Yamatani, chief of the headquarters for the abduction issue.

He added that “if an unexpected situation occurs, we’ll ask the United States to cooperate in rescuing the abduction victims.”

The Japanese government, like its South Korean peer, has asked for advance consultation regarding any U.S. military action against North Korea during a series of meetings between Japanese and U.S. officials. The U.S. side is said to have responded positively to the request. This is because Japan would need to take appropriate precautions given that, as an ally of Washington, it could be a target for retaliation should the U.S. military attack North Korea, although in order to preserve the “element of surprise” it would not be at all
surprising if Trump proceeded to launching a strike unannounced.

As the infographic below shows, the Japanese government is contemplating five potential emergency responses should a military clash break out between the US and North Korea:

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