SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s air force will join U.S. Space Force-led joint military drills aimed at bolstering the latter’s defense capabilities in outer space.

This is part of a broader agreement reached Aug. 27 during a bilateral meeting between Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force  chief of staff, Gen. Park In-ho, and U.S. Space Force Gen. John W. Raymond, chief of space operations, at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to an Aug. 29  ROK Air Force news release. Park has been visiting the U.S. since Aug. 25 at Raymond’s invitation.

Under the agreement, the two sides will also set up a joint consultative body on space policy, share information on space surveillance and improve joint space operations capabilities such as missile defense.

The joint consultative body will regularly hold meetings between the South Korea’s air force and the U.S. Space Force on the space policy consultation mechanism to actively conduct personnel, information exchanges, and technical cooperation, according to the ROK Air Force. 

South Korea’s air force said, “the deal made it official that the two sides have become partners in space security cooperation.”

Park also met with Gen. James Dickinson, commander of U.S. Space Command, and other top U.S. military officials to discuss bilateral military issues, including U.S. cooperation on South Korea’s development of its own satellite navigation system called Korea Positioning System (KPS). In return for South Korea joining the Artemis Accords in May, the United States agreed to support the KPS development.

Park Si-soo covers space industries in South Korea, Japan and other Asian countries. Park worked at The Korea Times — South Korea's leading English language newspaper — from 2007 to 2020. He earned a master’s degree in science journalism from Korea...