America's top military officer said on Friday that a rocket North Korea plans to launch next month has a range that could possibly reach Hawaii.
Asked if the North Korean rocket could reach the US states of Hawaii or Alaska, Admiral Mike Mullen told CNN: "In some cases, yes, they could probably get down to Hawaii."
International concern has been mounting about North Korea's announcement it would launch a communications satellite between April 4 and 8.
Japan's move Friday to deploy missile interceptors is the boldest challenge North Korea faces so far to its plan to launch a rocket in the next few days.
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said he ordered the deployment of missile interceptors to Japan's northern coast to prepare to shoot down the rocket and any debris that could fall on Japanese territory. It was the first such order Japan had issued, a ministry spokesman said.