Tags: Korea | Launch | First | Military | Satellite

S. Korea to Launch First Military Satellite

Wednesday, 09 January 2002 12:00 AM

The Defense Ministry and state-run KT (Korea Telecom) Corp. have agreed to manufacture "Koreasat 5" as a combined commercial-military satellite, ministry officials said.

"The satellite will be used for communications for the military," a KT official said. The satellite will be South Korea's fourth Koreasat, but the first specifically designed for military use.

"The ministry named the fourth satellite Koreasat 5 because the figure four is a homonym with a word that means death in Korean," a ministry official said. All the South Korean satellites were put into orbit abroad by foreign-manufactured rockets.

South Korea has planed to spend $100 million to build its own space center designed to launch a satellite on an island off the country's southern coast, government officials said. Rockets launched from the site would not fly over other countries' air space, adding that the land can easily be secured because of its isolated locale, they said.

Experts say missile technology can be easily applied to rocket development for satellite launches. Under an agreement with the United States, South Korea was allowed to build missiles with a range of up to 187 miles and a payload of 227 pounds. Seoul test-fired last November a missile with a 62-mile range that landed in the Yellow Sea between South Korea and China.

Seoul's Defense Ministry has said that it would develop cruise missiles and unmanned reconnaissance planes to increase its ability to spy on rival communist North Korea.

The North test-fired a ballistic missile over Japan in mid-1998, stunning South Korea and neighboring countries. It insisted the launch was aimed at putting a satellite into orbit, but warned that it could be used for the military unless the United States and its allies give up anti-Pyongyang policies.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The Defense Ministry and state-run KT (Korea Telecom) Corp. have agreed to manufacture Koreasat 5 as a combined commercial-military satellite, ministry officials said. The satellite will be used for communications for the military, a KT official said. The satellite...
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2002-00-09
Wednesday, 09 January 2002 12:00 AM
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