S. Korea, US agree on space cooperation deal

February 29, 2016

SEOUL (Yonhap) — South Korea and the United States have agreed on a space cooperation deal to boost civilian exchanges in the space sector, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The agreement, reached on Sunday, is aimed at establishing a legal and institutional framework for increased civilian cooperation in space science, earth observation and space exploration.

It is the first time the U.S. has agreed to a government-to-government deal on space cooperation with an Asian nation, the ministry said.

The allies “will soon take steps for its signing and coming into effect,” a ministry official told reporters on the customary condition of anonymity.

Talks on the agreement began in 2010, but only gained momentum after a summit meeting between President Park Geun-hye and her U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, in October.

The agreement “reaffirms the strongest alliance between South Korea and the U.S.,” the official added.

The two countries have sought to expand their cooperation under the New Frontier slogan to cover issues ranging from space and cyberspace to health, environment, energy and technology.