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S. Korea to invest 1.6 trillion won in space technology development over next decade

All News 10:18 September 03, 2021

SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will invest around 1.6 trillion won (US$1.38 billion) over the next 10 years to expedite the development of key space technologies after the full lifting of U.S.-imposed restrictions on missile development, the arms procurement agency said Friday.

Under the plan, diverse defense projects, such as the development of surveillance and communication satellites and rockets, will be pushed for between 2021 and 2030 in close cooperation with civilian experts and private firms, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

This year, the government will earmark 180.8 billion won for such projects as the development of key parts for a next-generation surveillance satellite and systems for anti-electronic warfare satellite transponders.

"We plan to finalize the 10-year plan and new projects within this year after reviewing proposals by research institutes, private firms and other entities. And a consultative body involving civilian experts and military officials will oversee the implementation of the new tasks," DAPA said in a release.

The move comes after Seoul and Washington agreed to lift the "missile guideline" restrictions in May that had barred South Korea from developing and possessing ballistic missiles with a maximum range greater than 800 kilometers.

"Following the termination of the South Korea-U.S. missile guidelines, we now can develop solid-fuel based space rocket technologies and launch satellites," DAPA said. "Such military space technologies have become increasingly crucial in terms of our future security."

South Korea's first military communications satellite Anasis-II is launched atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket manufactured by U.S commercial space firm SpaceX from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 20, 2020, in this photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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