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Japan to end missile alert as NKorea fears subside

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June 28, 2013 01:19 AM EST | AP


TOKYO — Japan is expected to pull missile units deployed around its capital off of alert status because it believes the threat of a launch from North Korea has subsided.

Media reports said the units were to be taken off alert status as early as Friday, but officials refused to comment.

Japan, South Korea and U.S. troops have been taking special measures to counter North Korean threats that it might launch a long-range missile or some kind of a retaliatory strike if provoked. The tensions reached their peak in April, as the United States and South Korea held large-scale joint military maneuvers, but have since calmed down.

Japan deployed PAC-3 anti-missile defense units at three locations in and around Tokyo, which is within range of North Korea's ballistic missiles, in early April.