Yoon voices hope for ‘space alliance’ between S. Korea, U.S.

President Yoon Suk Yeol voiced hope Tuesday for deeper cooperation between South Korea and the United States on space, saying he envisions a "space alliance" that carries out joint research and development programs.

Yoon made the remark during a visit to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, just outside Washington, where he was joined by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.

"From now on, space cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the United States will be further strengthened into a space alliance through KASA and NASA," he said, referring to the Korea AeroSpace Administration, a new agency to be launched under the Yoon administration.

"I hope KASA and NASA will find and begin joint research and development programs, and as cooperation partners, build a communication platform for active exchanges of people, information and knowledge," he said.

Yoon said he has fresh memories of the day American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon in 1969.

"It was during summer break of third grade of elementary school. From then on, space to me was a dream and a challenge," he said. "Now that I'm here at NASA, at the starting point of that dream and challenge, I renew my determination to achieve that dream at all costs."

During the visit, South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT and NASA signed a joint statement on cooperation on space exploration and space science.

Under the agreement, the two countries will look for joint projects related to space exploration and the Global Positioning System. In particular, South Korea will seek to increase its participation in the Artemis program, a robotic and human moon exploration program led by NASA.

South Korea signed the Artemis Accords in 2021, becoming the 10th nation to take part in the program.

Yoon is currently on a six-day state visit to the U.S. to hold a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the bilateral alliance.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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