Japanese defense officials have redeployed a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 unit to the southern portion of the island of Hokkaido, along the flight path of two recent ICBM launched by North Korea.

The move comes after the defense ministry ordered deployment of four PAC-3 units to southwestern Japan after Pyongyang warned it would launch missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam, home to Andersen Air Force Base and a large contingent of U.S. forces.

Japan has a two-tiered missile shield. The first layer of defense is comprised of Aegis system-equipped destroyers employing SM-3 interceptors; the second layer consists of 34 PAC-3’s, most of which are deployed to defend the capital. [source]

The moves signal Tokyo’s increased concerns over North Korean ballistic missile capabilities and enhanced understanding of the need to better defend itself. Twice in the past month, Japanese officials have sounded air raid alarms in response to North Korean missile launches, alarming its population.

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