SEOUL, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- South Korea's fleet of Aegis destroyers has been granted official missions in the wake of recent North Korean provocations, and at least one warship is on active duty, a Seoul official said.
The destroyer is stationed off the eastern coast of South Korea, but could be mobilized to another location as North Korea steps up rocket launch activities near the China border, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported. Two other warships are on standby, and all are equipped with SPY-1D, the surveillance radar that can detect ballistic missiles outside a 620-mile radius and simultaneously track 1,000 targets from a distance of up to 310 miles.
Pyongyang said Monday it is ready to move forward with a long-range rocket launch -- but uncertainty remains over the date. A South Korean analyst has said Pyongyang is ready to launch at any time, and the next liftoff would most likely take place around Oct. 5, five days before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party.
An unidentified South Korean military official told television network SBS that a train carrying the missile is expected to leave Pyongyang for Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan province.
South Korea's first Aegis destroyer, the King Sejong, was able to trace North Korea's Unha-3 long-distance missile 54 seconds faster than other Aegis vessels of its class in April 2012.