South Korea has made good on a promise to cooperate with the European Union on the latter’s Galileo satellite navigation system.
The two signed an agreement in Helsinki Monday that opens the door to South Korea’s active participation in the program. The Asian nation could work with the European Union on several areas including scientific research and training, industrial cooperation, trade and market development, standards, certification and regulatory measures, the two parties said in a statement.
Galileo is a union-backed satellite navigation system that will provide a higher grade of service than the U.S. government’s GPS. The European Union has developed the system for commercial applications, unlike GPS, which was developed primarily for military applications and doesn’t come with any guarantee of continued availability for civilian use. Galileo will transmit signals that are compatible with GPS.
The first Galileo satellite, the Giove-A, was launched in December 2005.
A number of non-union nations have already signed on to the program. Cooperation agreements have been concluded with China, Israel, the United States, Ukraine, India, Morocco and South Korea, and others are in preparation, the European Commission said in June.
The agreement was signed at a European Union-South Korea summit in Finland. On hand to ink the deal were E.U. Commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner; Erkki Tuomioja, Finland’s minister of foreign affairs; and Ban ki-moon, South Korea’s minister of foreign affairs.
-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)
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