South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said the country will invest around 1.6 trillion won ($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.
"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.
Projects to be undertaken include development of surveillance and communication satellites and rockets. The government will invest 180.8 billion won this year to build key parts for a next-generation surveillance satellite, and systems for anti-electronic warfare satellite transponders.
In May, the U.S. scrapped a decades-old pact that banned South Korea from developing certain weapons. The decision to lift restrictions, first imposed in 1979, was announced by the U.S. earlier that month. It prohibited the country from developing or possessing missiles with a maximum flight range greater than 800 km.
“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."