South Korea signs US-led lunar exploration deal
Science Minister Lim Hye-sook presents a signed lunar exploration agreement between South Korea and the United States at her office in the administrative capital of Sejong, central South Korea, in this photo provided on Thursday by the Ministry of Science. (Ministry of Science)
Science Minister Lim Hye-sook signed the Artemis Accords as an extension of an agreement reached at a recent bilateral summit in Washington, becoming the 10th signatory to the pact, the ministry said.
The Artemis Agreements are an international agreement between governments participating in the Artemis program, a US-led effort to bring humans back to the moon by 2024, and ultimately to expand and deepen space exploration.
The United States, Japan, Great Britain, Italy and four other countries signed the agreement in October 2010. Ukraine joined the program later.
“It is important to explore the space in a transparent and responsible manner through international cooperation,” said Mr. Lim. “South Korea’s signing is expected to help expand cooperation between the signatories in the field of space exploration.”
The Science Ministry said South Korea will further expand cooperation with America and participate in a range of areas in the Artemis agreements and other space exploration programs.
In particular, South Korea has partnered with the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop a lunar orbiter set to take off in August 2022.
South Korea, relatively behind in the global space race, has been working on a lunar orbiter program since 2016 (Yonhap)