SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and France are moving to expand cooperation in space and rocket development to create new growth opportunities, the science ministry said Friday.
At the 3rd Korea-France Space Forum in Seoul, representatives from the two countries supported ongoing efforts to strengthen the comprehensive cooperation partnership and the building of stronger networks, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.
They discussed various issues ranging from space security, rockets and satellites to the merging of space-related projects with the ongoing drive towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to a highly connected digital economy, buttressed by technological breakthroughs, that is expected to fuel innovative economic growth.
Seoul and Paris are coordinating policies on space security, while South Korea's Hanwha Aerospace and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), along with France's Arianespace, Thales Alenia Space and National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), are exploring new opportunities in space rockets, enhancing the reliability of launch vehicles and the building of various satellites, according to the ministry.
"From the outset of South Korean efforts to develop its space sector some three decades ago, there has been close cooperation with France. This kind of partnership has contributed to the advances made here and is expected to lead to positive synergy going forward," KARI's chief Lim Cheol-ho said.
Jean-Marc Astorg, the head of rockets at CNES, echoed this view by stressing that the two countries, based on long-standing ties, have been working together on the development of the next three-stage Korea Space Launch Vehicle 2 that the country wants to send into space in 2021.
He expected that South Korea and France will continue to work to further cooperation that can benefit all sides.