South Korea signs Artemis Accords; Brazil, New Zealand likely next


SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea signed the Artemis Accords May 27, becoming the 10th signatory to the pact that governs norms of behavior for those who want to participate in the NASA-led Artemis lunar exploration program.

On the same day, South Korea and the United States signed an agreement on “civil global navigation satellite systems cooperation” under which the U.S. will support South Korea developing its own satellite navigation system.

The two events were follow-up measures of the May 21 summit between South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden at the White House, during which the two leaders agreed to strengthen the bilateral partnership in civil space exploration, science, aeronautics research and cooperate for effective joint response against security threats in space.

“For successful space exploration, it is critical to implement space development activities transparently and responsibly by collaborating with the international community,” said Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook who signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of the Korean government. “With the signing of the Artemis Accords, Korea would be able to strengthen cooperation with nations participating in the Accords in exploring outer space.”

NASA’s chief celebrated South Korea’s coming on board.

“I am thrilled the Republic of Korea has committed to the Artemis Accords. Their signature demonstrates the strong momentum worldwide in supporting our Moon to Mars exploration approach,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement. “Partnering in deep space will ensure our missions are carried out in accordance with important, universal principles like transparency, safety, and peaceful exploration, which are critical to ensuring a safe, and prosperous future in space for all.”

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