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Japan cabinet approves bill allowing downing of missiles without approval

[JURIST] The Japanese cabinet has approved a draft bill that would allow the Japanese defense minister to order the shooting-down of incoming missles without obtaining cabinet consent. The bill now goes to the country's parliament for a vote later this week. The legislation is seen as a response to concerns about the nuclear capabilities of North Korea, which first announced last week that it had nuclear weapons. "Lately, there are more countries equipped with missiles. We need to deal with the situation immediately if a missile were to be launched at Japan," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a news conference. BBC News has more. In related news, the South Korean National Intelligence Service [official website] reported Tuesday that North Korea currently lacks the technology to affix a nuclear warhead to a missile. The intelligence agency said that while North Korea may be capable of dropping nuclear weapons similar to the A-bombs used in World War II from airplanes, their current nuclear weapons are too heavy to be attached to missiles. South Korea's Chosun Ilbo has more.

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