Japan readied its ballistic missile defence systems on Wednesday (April 10), as fears mounted that North Korea could be set to launch them.

While North Korea has shown no sign of mobilising its 1.2 million-strong army, media reports last week suggested Pyongyang may have moved what appears to be a mid-range Musudan missile to its east coast, putting Japan in range of a missile strike.

Japanese and South Korean media have speculated that Wednesday would be the most likely day for a possible launch.

The country's defence ministry rolled out Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptors at its headquarters in central Tokyo early on Tuesday (April 9).

Other surface-to-air missiles have been deployed nation-wide, including at military bases around the capital.

Japan has refused to comment in detail on the deployments, saying it does not want to reveal operational details to North Korea or alarm the public.

PAC 3 missile defence systems were on standby outside Japan's ministry of defence on Wednesday (April 10) in response to threats North Korea made.

The launchers are pointing west towards North Korea.

There was little visible movement within the grounds of the ministry in the morning but curious commuters looked inside as they walked by.

Pyongyang has turned up its shrill rhetoric in recent weeks after the United Nations Security Councilimposed sanctions for the state's third nuclear weapons test in February.

It has threatened a nuclear strike on the United States - something it does not have the capacity to carry out - and "war" with South Korea.

On Tuesday (April 9), it told foreigners in South Korea to leave the country to avoid being dragged into a "thermonuclear war". It previously warned diplomats in Pyongyang to prepare to leave.

Presented by Adam Justice