중앙데일리

Seoul in Missile Club

Sees Space Technology Benefits

Mar 27,2001

South Korea became the 33rd member of the Missile Technology Control Regime at the institution's point-of-contact meeting in Paris on Monday.

Seoul has already signed other major arms control accords, including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

A government official said, "Korea now can more actively participate in enhancing international security by preventing the spread of missiles."

He added that he expected Korea's membership in the plan will further promote international cooperation on space technology.

Because of its 1979 agreement with the United States, South Korea had been prevented from developing missiles with ranges more than 180 kilometers and weighing more than 500 kilograms.

However, the two countries reached a new agreement in January which allows South Korea to develop and deploy missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers and a payload of less than 500 kilograms.

Immediately after signing the new agreement, the Korean government applied for membership in the missile control program. At the regime's meeting on Monday, its 32 members unanimously approved South Korea's membership request.

The Missile Technology Control Regime was formed in the 1970s to stave off the danger of missile proliferation in the developing world. It is neither an international treaty nor a legally binding agreement, but its members voluntarily pledge to adopt all of the group's export guidelines.

North Korea, India and Pakistan have not made any commitments to follow the regime's standards while China and Israel have publicly agreed to adhere to the guidelines and annex of the regime.

Experts say South Korea is now in a better position to persuade North Korea to join international institutions on arms control.

They added that joining the regime also opened the door for the country to go ahead with its space initiatives without hindrance; members of the group agree not to sell satellite equipment and technology to non-member countries.





by Lee Chul-hee




dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장