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S. Korea in talks with U.S. over solid-fuel rocket development

Diplomacy 16:26 November 12, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is in talks with the United States over its pursuit of developing solid-fuel space vehicles for non-military purposes, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday.

Last year, the allies agreed to eliminate restrictions on the payload weight of South Korea's ballistic missiles in response to North Korea's series of provocations at that time.

"Currently, consultations are underway between South Korea and the U.S. in connection with lifting limits on the use of solid fuel for space vehicles to strengthen space development in the civilian sector," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

It did not provide more details, citing ongoing state-to-state negotiations on the sensitive matter.

Seoul needs to address concerns that it may try to use the solid-propellant rocket technology for its military. It's known to be quicker, simpler and more cost effective to launch solid-fuel rockets than liquid-based ones.

Japan, another regional ally of the U.S., is allowed to develop solid-fuel rockets.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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