South Korea's military launched an emergency task force team charged with analyzing the latest developments in North Korea's preparations to fire off a long-range rocket later this month. The defense ministry and the Joint Chiefs of Staff began operation of the task force team, which is composed of 10 military officials specialized in operations and intelligence analysis, to get ready for the rocket launch. They will analyze the latest developments in North Korea and distribute the information to military and related organizations. While the military currently maintains the surveillance "Watchcon" 3 status, a normal defense condition, it plans to upgrade the level when the countdown nears. The Navy will send two Aegis warships equipped with SPY-1 radar to the western sea to track the rocket route, officials said. Seoul is also considering deploying the PAC-2 anti-missile system in case the North's rocket veers off the projected path.
Following North Korea's announcement of its launch plan, the United States and Japan have deployed the latest radar system and reconnaissance vehicles near the projected route, and plan to jointly operate the missile defense system in the region. While the two allies operated the missile defense system for an April launch that failed shortly after liftoff, they will have the opportunity to test the missile interception system under development. Japan has reportedly sent ships carrying Patriot anti-missile defense systems to guard against the planned launch, though the rocket isn't expected to fly over its territory.