As concerns mount that Pyongyang is preparing a rocket launch, Japan has ordered its military to be alert and ready to destroy any missile that will be fired by North Korea, local media reported.

According to reports, Defence Minister Gen Nakatani issued the order, after reports of suspicious activity at Pyongyang’s main satellite complex.

A Japanese Defence Ministry was contacted by AFP but refused to confirm the report saying that “would reveal our strategy”.

“But we are taking all possible measures to respond (to a missile launch) by collecting information and coordinating with countries concerned,” she added.

Medium-range ballistic missiles are shown off during a North Korean military parade in Pyongyang last year. Image source: Japan Times

UN Security Council resolutions has banned North Korea from using ballistic missile technology, that’s why any launch would fuel tensions in the international community with only weeks after its latest nuclear test.

Two U.S. defense official confirmed to AFP that there was an ongoing activity at the North’s Sohae satellite complex, citing an anonymous government source, said that satellite imagery showed movement that could suggest a satellite launch as early as next week.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, on friday, talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry over the phone about the possible launch.

“We can’t deny the possibility that North Korea will take further provocative action,” Kishida told reporters, adding that he and Kerry had “exchanged information on how to cooperate from now on”. -John Esconde