Tokyo: The Japanese government will soon lift an order for its military to shoot down North Korean ballistic missiles in the event that any are launched, government sources said Friday.

Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, who issued the order on April 7, is expected to lift it later on Friday at the earliest, the sources said, noting that North Korea has recently come to curb its provocative action and words, and called for holding high-level talks with the US.

The Japanese government, which has not made the order public, would not make the matter public even after lifting the order, the sources said. At a news conference on Friday, Onodera did not refer to the lifting of the order and only said the government will continue monitoring North Korea's action steadily.


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