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North Korea Crisis

Japan and US scramble to perfect missile attack responses

Hawaii's false alarm offers lessons to improve safety protocols

North Korea increased the number of ballistic missile tests last year.   © KCNA/Reuters

TOKYO -- As North Korea refuses to give up its nuclear and missile development programs, Japan and the U.S., as well as South Korea, are left to tackle the challenge of saving as many people as possible in case the unthinkable does occur.

The tense situation in the Korean Peninsula is causing Washington and Tokyo to fortify their missile defense and alert systems. The allies are also hashing out plans to evacuate their citizens from South Korea and other places if the need arises. But those efforts are also revealing sobering shortfalls in their current capabilities.

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