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S. Korea seeking to establish ground-based military rocket launch site

March 6, 2024 - 20:12 By Yonhap

Seok Jong-gun, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, speaks during an inauguration ceremony held at the agency's headquarters in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. ( Defense Acquisition Program Administration)

South Korea's arms procurement agency said Wednesday it is seeking to establish a ground-based military rocket launch site to accommodate future satellite launches.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration unveiled the plan in a policy report to President Yoon Suk Yeol, as the military plans to launch dozens of small-sized reconnaissance satellites by 2030 in addition to its first spy satellite launched last year.

While the military currently operates a maritime launch site, there have been limitations due to weather conditions at sea and other factors, a DAPA official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

"(We) plan to make considerations this year and get started on (the plan) next year," the official said.

South Korea successfully launched its first indigenous military spy satellite from a U.S. military base in California last December as part of a project to put five mid-sized reconnaissance satellites in orbit by 2025.

Meanwhile, the agency said it aims for the country to secure US$20 billion in defense exports this year after exporting about $14 billion worth of arms last year.

In 2022, South Korea unveiled a goal of becoming the world's fourth-largest defense exporter by 2027, after local defense companies clinched a series of major arms deals with Poland. That year, the country exported a record $17 billion worth of defense goods.