Japan Protests NKorea’s Satellite Launch Plan

SEOUL, South Korea — Japan is strongly protesting North Korea’s planned satellite launch.

Tokyo is warning it could shoot down the rocket after Pyongyang said it would fly over Japan toward the Pacific Ocean.

Japanese officials are telling North Korea to abandon the rocket plan and say Japan is ready to defend itself.

South Korea is also warning the North, and is hinting at possible sanctions.

In Washington, the State Department calls the North’s plan “provocative.”

There are concerns the planned launch, set for next month, will really be a test of long-range missile technology.

The U.S. and other governments have said any rocket launch would violate a 2006 U.N. Security Council resolution banning North Korea from ballistic missile activity.