South Korea is scheduled in July to activate a command site for its domestic antimissile operations, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Air and Missile Defense Cell "analyzes information acquired from the U.S. early missile warning satellites and South Korea's radar system and sends it to Patriot missile units," according to an unidentified high-level armed forces source. "After testing is completed, it can be deployed by July."
The development comes amid high tensions with North Korea, which in recent weeks has issued a series of threats against South Korea and the United States and is believed prepared to launch its Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile.
South Korea has avoided joining international missile shield efforts headed by the United States. Instead, it is establishing the Korea Air and Missile Defense System that encompasses radars and Patriot air-defense batteries.
Meanwhile, Japan is responding to the North Korean missile threat by placing Patriot Advanced Capability 3 batteries at two military sites in Okinawa on a continuing basis, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Tuesday. The move is expected to occur before May.
Multiple PAC-3 units have already been deployed around Tokyo in preparation for a North Korean missile launch.