South Korea is today a developed, industrial, democratic nation, a status reached after years of military and totalitarian regimes. During much of the post-war era, Korea suffered from severe economic difficulties. The Korean War devastated Korea's economy, and shaped the nature of the re-built post-war economy. "Seoul depended heavily on foreign aid, not only for defense, but also for other expenditures. Foreign aid constituted a third of the total budget in 1954, rose to 58.4 percent in 1956, and was approximately 38 percent of the budget in 1960." 1
Democracy was slow to take root in South Korea, and governmental stability was, for years, fragile at best. The Republic of South Korea has undergone several changes in governmental type since its founding in August 1948. Syngman Rhee, the country's first president, proved uncommitted to democracy and soon declared martial law. Following Rhee's resignation in April 1960 South Korea experienced a brief democratic interlude in which a new government was elected. However, a new military junta headed by Park Chung Hee took power in 1961. 2
Park was able to maintain control over South Korea despite widespread opposition to his totalitarian regime in large part because of South Korea's economic success. "Improved living standards and ever-increasing job opportunities" 3 among South Koreans led to a lack of active resistance to Park's regime. By the late 1970s however, Korea's economic growth was beginning to falter. Thus, by the time Park was assassinated on October 26, 1979 satisfaction with the regime was already fading.
Park's assassination ushered in a tumultuous and critical period in South Korea, with student uprisings, military takeovers, and sharp confrontations between opposing forces. Despite several attempts to establish order, relative peace was not achieved until forces under General Chun quashed a major rebellion in the city of Kwangju, and established a military regime under his control. 4
Following the Kwangju uprising, General Chun was elected president. Chun's objective, presented at his inaugural address, was "to create a new society where all past corrupt practices would be replaced by mutual trust and justice. In order to accomplish this goal, he planned to remove old politicians from the scene: only those certified as "clean" would be permitted to participate in building the new order." 5 Chun's regime brought significant economic growth and development to South Korea. However, Chun's ties to the military and the essentially undemocratic nature of his regime led to increasing discontent. In 1987, demonstrations by a new student-led opposition movement resulted in fall of the Chun government.
Since 1987, South Korea has begun to solidify its democracy, and assert its economic power globally. Kim Young Sam's administration brought some movement toward globalization, and cemented Korea's identity as a developed country, resulting in the South Korean entry into the Organization of Economic and Cultural Development (OECD). The 1997 presidential election coincided with serious economic problems in the Asia-Pacific. The South Korean people elected Kim Dae Jung, a former political dissident, to lead them. He offered a clean break with the past and the history of institutionalized corruption, an important milestone for the consolidation of democracy in South Korea. 6 Today, South Korea is beginning to recover from the recent economic downturn in Asia, and shows not only economic health but legitimate democracy.
South Korea is faced with several ongoing regional challenges, including: coping with North Korean belligerence; the possibility that tensions between China and Taiwan could escalate into war; and the necessity of maintaining economic growth in a highly competitive global economy. An integral aspect of South Korea's economic development and technical advancement has been the acquisition of advanced space-based information technologies. Ensuring access to space-based assets- whether indigenous or US-owned- has become a priority for South Korea. Dual-use space-based systems are seen as a potentially highly valuable tool, both for enhancing national security, and for enabling economic growth.

South Korea's strategic position in Asia, its multi-faceted alliance with the United States, its relationship with North Korea, and its increasing reliance on trade, all make international relations a high priority for this nation. For years, South Korea's international relations focused almost exclusively on the US and North Korea. However, in recent years South Korea has been more active in the international sphere. South Korean President Roh adopted a policy of Nordpolitik, which involved the pursuit of wide-ranging relations with socialist nations (including China) and significantly increased contact with North Korea. Nordpolitik greatly increased South Korea's international involvement. The R.O.K. now has diplomatic ties with all the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, as well as the former Soviet republics.
Prior to the Korean War, relations between the Soviet sector (in the North) and the American sector (in the South) were hardly warm. The Korean War, and the lack of a permanent peace treaty, cemented a pattern of hostile relations between the two Koreas. Since the Korean War, an acute awareness of the North Korean threat has dominated South Korean politics. In general, relations between North and South Korea have been characterized by minimal direct contact, a protracted arms race, and occasional rhetorical sparring, interrupted by periods of high tension in which war seemed imminent. The US commitment to maintain South Korea's independence, and thus, its fortification of the South, added to intra-Korean tensions. South Korea's military leaders have been staunchly anticommunist and have viewed Pyongyang's military expansion as a preparation for war. This led to a South Korean emphasis on enhancing their own military strength, by building up their armed forces and by seeking additional US military assistance. President Park, and later President Chun followed a policy of "devoting one-third of all government spending to the military, outstripping North Korean military expenditures during most of the 1980s." 7
The United States and South Korea- The United States is a key player in South Korea's foreign relations. The two nations have had a close but often uncomfortable association since the middle of the century. The South Korean-American alliance is essential, if not always ideal, for both parties.

The most striking thing about the relationship between the United States and South Korea has been its persistence in the face of chronic fragility...[There are] fundamentally different rationales behind the alliance in Washington and Seoul. For Washington the alliance occupied a place in the global geostrategic framework where the Cold War was the key and where fear of the Soviet Union and China dictated commitment a to South Korea that its intrinsic value would not have mandated...At the same time, the South Koreans viewed the alliance as crucial to survival... For Seoul, however, the alliance aimed not at Moscow or Beijing, but at the more immediate menace of Pyongyang. 8

Thus, the two nations had very different motivations for their alliance, but have remained allies nonetheless. The Korean War caused the United States to view the preservation of South Korea as an independent, non-communist nation as a high priority. "Fighting in Korea had profound effects upon the future of both the peninsula and the Cold War...Korea, in the mind of Washington policymakers, had become a necessary showcase of American power and its survival crucial to American prestige." 9 South Korea itself needed the US military presence in order to ensure its survival.
Relations between South Korea and the United States were burdened and defined by the fact that the US was the prime defender of South Korea. The United States directed large amounts of economic and military aid into South Korea; between 1946 and 1976, total aid was $12.6 billion. One of the most common causes of friction between the US and South Korea was that South Korea proved unwilling to consistently US wishes.
For the United States, the alliance with South Korea proved frustrating because of South Korea's authoritarian leaders, its reluctance to reconcile with other regional US allies (particularly Japan), and the enormous expense posed by the continued defense of Korea. For the United States, South Korea was essentially a second-tier country. US officials believed it would be easier and less expensive to guarantee South Korea's survival if the staunch US-Japanese alliance was expanded to allow for a South Korean-Japanese alliance. The South Koreans still resented Japan for its pre-war occupation, and feared that the United States would rather defend Japan than South Korea. However, the US pushed the Japanese-South Korean treaty through despite street protests. 10 US ties with South Korea were further strained by "Koreagate," the Park government's efforts to garner Congressional support for its policies. After President Reagan was elected, and Chun ascended to power, relations between South Korea and the US improved markedly. In keeping with his strong anti-Communist ideology, President Reagan strongly supported Chun and South Korea's security. The close relationship between the US and the Chun regime led to a certain amount of anti-Americanism in South Korea. "The opposition forces in South Korea, suffering from the government's stringent suppression, denounced United States' support for the Chun regime...and questioned the United States' motives in Korea." 11
The end of the Cold War and both South Korea's democratization and its increasing economic power have provoked further developments in the American-Korean alliance. After the United States ascertained that North Korea had by 1989 begun to develop an indigenous nuclear weapons production capability, the possibility of reducing American military ties to South Korea was negated. North Korea's status as a fledging but dangerous nuclear state reinforced the necessity of maintaining the South Korean-American alliance. Both South Korea and the United States have provided significant amounts of humanitarian aid to North Korea, and both nations have "alternated between favoring aid to avert catastrophe and blaming the United States and other donors for propping up a doomed regime." 12
South Korea's new economic status has added a new dimension to its relationship with the United States. "As one of the Four Dragons of East Asia, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth. Three decades ago its GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is seven times India's, 13 times North Korea's, and comparable to the lesser economies of the European Union. 13 South Korea and the United States have important economic links. Twenty two percent of South Korea's imports come from the US, and 17% of its exports are directed to the US. In the fall of 1997 South Korea's economy was devastated by the Asian economic crisis. However, thanks to its strength before the crisis and steady efforts since, South Korea had moved toward recovery by 1999. The US strongly supports South Korean economic reforms, and continues to view the nation as an important economic and strategic partner.
Japan- South Korea and Japan have a long, historically contentious relationship. As stated previously, Japan occupied Korea from 1900 to 1945. After World War II, South Korea's association with the United States put it in a somewhat awkward situation with regard to Japan. The US had a vested interest in sponsoring a close relationship between its two closest, and most costly, Asian allies. However, for South Korea, the memory of the Japanese occupation was fresh, and the prospect of close relations with Japan unwelcome. South Korea and Japan engaged in intermittent negotiations starting in 1951. The last round of negotiations resulted in the June 1965 establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Japan. The establishment of diplomatic relations, the terms of reparations requested from the Japanese, and the heavy-handed US sponsorship of the agreement led to numerous student demonstrations in South Korea. 14
Since then, South Korea and Japan have not had a close relationship, but have found each other to be useful regional partners. The nations' close ties to the US, both economically and militarily, led to a certain convergence in interests. The two nations began limited cooperation on defense after the 1979 establishment of the Korean-Japanese Parliamentary Conference on Security Affairs. In the 1980s, under the Chun government, Japan granted South Korea a 4 billion dollar loan. This prompted the first state visit of the Japanese prime minister to South Korea since 1945. 15
In the last ten years, South Korea and Japan have moved toward improving their relationship. In 1998 South Korea and Japan established a Korea-Japan Security Consultative Meeting to "promote mutual understanding and trust in the area of national security" and pledged to "actively cooperate for the stable development of the world economy through international organizations." 16 The two nations are important trading partners- 18% of South Korea's imports come from Japan, and 9% of its exports go to that nation. 17 In 1995, the US, Japan and South Korea established the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), which works with North Korea to replace its current nuclear reactors with types of nuclear reactors that could not be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. Despite generally good relations with Japan, there are frequent (but generally low-grade) South Korean concerns about (1) possible Japanese re-armament; (2) US favoritism toward Japan; and (3) the economic challenge Japan poses to South Korea.
China- South Korea and China have had a difficult relationship in the post-Korean War period. China nd North Korea, while not close allies, have shared not only a political system, but also an opposition to Seoul. However, from the mid-1970s on, unofficial contact between China and South Korea has increased. South Korean leaders believed good relations with China and the USSR were essential, "and attached considerable importance to these two countries, long the allies of North Korea. Beijing [was]...thought to have much influence in charting the future of the Korean Peninsula and were thus part of Nordpolitik." 18 Seoul and Beijing were pushed into official contacts when a hijacked Chinese airliner landed in Seoul, and Chinese and South Korean officials worked together to negotiate its return.
After formal diplomatic relations were finalized in 1992, China and South Korea's special relationship has continued and trade has become increasingly important to both nations. In 1998 9% of South Korea's exports went to China, and 7% of its imports came from that nation. 19 However, China and South Korea continue to have divergent views on numerous issues, including security. While China has "reaffirmed that it will step up efforts for the future peace and stability of the Korean peninsula..." 20 there is little doubt that China has a very different view of the best possible resolution of the Korean conflict than does South Korea. While China and South Korea have similar economic interests and goals, South Korea's dominant foreign policy allegiance is to the US, a stance that prevents truly close relations between China and South Korea.
USSR/Russia- Immediately following World War II, the northern half of the Korean peninsula-the part that became North Korea-was under Soviet control. North Korea's offensive in the Korean War is widely viewed as being largely Soviet sponsored. Thus, it should be no surprise that South Korea and the USSR had a hostile relationship with each other during much of the post-Korean War era.
Nevertheless, unofficial relations between the USSR and South Korea grew, especially as North Korea's isolationist stance distanced it from Moscow. The unofficial Soviet-Korea relationship began in 1973 when a South Korean was allowed to attend an international conference convened in the Soviet Union. 21 In the 1980s, relations between the USSR and South Korea improved with South Korea's pursuit of "Nordpolitik," glasnost in the Soviet Union and Gorbachev's appeal to all Asia-Pacific nations in a July 1986 speech in Vladivostok. 22 "Economically, Seoul and Moscow were natural partners." 23 For South Korea, access to the Soviet Union's extensive natural resources was necessary and welcome. As trade relations increased in value, and as Moscow pursued liberalizations, Soviet-South Korean political relations also began to improve. Throughout the 1980s, Seoul and Moscow made extraordinary progress in relations. 24

Since the fall of the USSR, Russian-South Korean relations have suffered from neglect. While the two nations are both technically democracies, their national priorities have proved extremely divergent in the post-Cold War era. One of the primary reasons for the Seoul-Moscow reconciliation had been complimentary economic needs. With Russia's extreme poverty following the USSR's dissolution, it no longer has much to offer South Korea as a trading partner. For Moscow, neither South Korea nor North Korea presents a great enough threat or reward to be considered a high priority. Russia's democratization, and the end of its ability to appeal to North Korea on an ideological basis, ended much of its political utility to South Korea. South Korean concerns about Russia (and the USSR) have long centered around the transfer of Russian weapons, weapons components, and weapons scientists to North Korea. It is likely that when Russia's economy improves, trade between the two nations will again become valuable and useful.

South Korea's Relations with Other Nations- South Korea's international relations have tended to focus on the US and North Korea. However, after the Korean War, Korea's contacts with other nations began to increase, and grew significantly in the 1980s. 25 It has often used economic ties as a stepping stone to closer political relations. After years of participating in the UN as an observer, South Korea was finally granted membership in 1991. (North Korea- and its communist allies- had prevented Seoul's accession to the UN prior to that point.) Even before joining the UN, South Korea participated as an observer in UN activities and groups. Seoul was one of the founding members of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). In large part to mitigate the de-stabilizing effects that North Korea had on the region, South Korea has pursued regional relations within the context of ASEAN and APEC. South Korea, though now an economically well-developed nation, has long pursued relations with developing nations, and has good relations with much of the developing world. In 1996, South Korea's status as a developed nation was made official through its inclusion in the OECD. South Korea's economic development has led to increased trade with Europe, not only with the western Europe but also with Eastern Europe. Trade with Eastern Europe is notable because it began in the 1980s, at a time when South Korean-Soviet relations were improving. Once quite isolationist (Korea was traditionally known as the hermit kingdom) South Korea is now dependent on, and committed to, its varied international ties.


The South Korean military is largely defensive in its force size, structure, and doctrine. Whereas North Korean doctrine has stressed building a military capable of reunifying Korea, South Korean doctrine was based on maintaining the post-war status quo by defending its borders. This was a less arduous task than building an offensive force, requiring a substantially smaller military, especially as South Korea could count on ample US assistance. Believing that in an inter-Korean conflict, North Korea would necessarily be the aggressor, South Korea has largely oriented its capable military towards defense.
There are significant parallels between the organization of South Korea's military and that of the US military. The President (currently Kim Dae-jung) serves as Commander-in-Chief. The President is also the head of the National Security Council, which includes the Prime Minister (currently Kim Jong Pil), the National Defense Minister, and other government ministry heads as chosen by the President. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) is charged with the military activities of South Korea. South Korea also has a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) office that is divided into several different directorates. South Korea's military is divided into an Army, Air Force, and a Navy (which includes the Marines). 26
Total active military personnel number approximately 672,000, with a reserve force of approximately 4,500,000. 27 The 2000 defense budget was set at 14.4 trillion won ($12.9 B), which represents an increase of 5% over the previous year's budget. 28 South Korea's Army is the largest of the military branches. Most troops are deployed along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at the 38th parallel. The 1st Army patrols the western half of the DMZ, and the 3rd Army patrols the eastern half. 29 Total Army manpower is 560,000, with another 600,000 in reserves.
The South Korean Navy is fairly small, consisting of two aviation squadrons, and three fleets. The South Korean Marine Corps and Coast Guard are part of its Naval Force. The Navy has 60,000 active personnel, the Marine Corps has 25,000, and the Coast Guard has 4,500 personnel. The Navy is currently upgrading and modernizing its ships, and working to create a small submarine force. The majority of its technology comes from foreign defense contractors. The South Korean Navy's use of foreign expertise, technology and industrial base is characteristic of all the military branches. For example, South Korea's submarine designs are based on German sources, and many of its aircraft are produced by US aerospace contractors. 30 Nevertheless, significant proportions of the electronics for certain imported weapons systems are manufactured in South Korea. 31
South Korea's Air Force consists of about 60,000 airmen, with another 55,000 in reserve. The South Korean Air Force provides more examples of heavy reliance on foreign military hardware. Unlike the US Air Force, the South Korean Air Force does not include a space wing. Satellite manufacturing and launch vehicle research are conducted at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). 32 KARI is the center of all South Korean space activities and is discussed later in greater detail.

Chart 1—2
South Korean Air Force Manpower/Equipment33

The makeup of the South Korean military directly reflects both South Korea's strategic position and its largely defensive military posture. The South Korean military is numerically inferior to that of its neighbor, several of which may be considered hostile. The large US military presence has, combined with South Korea's indigenous military capabilities, maintained a military balance on the peninsula. In 1954 the United States and South Korea entered into a mutual defense agreement, and it is this agreement, along with the US presence required by it, that has proved definitive in maintaining the military status quo in Korea. While US troop deployment has shrunk over the years (in 1990 the United States had 44,500 troops in Korea and currently the US force size has shrunk to 37,00034), the US military presence in South Korea is still significant (Chart 1-3). The South Koreans ability to rely heavily on the US presence to deter threats has lifted part of the military burden from South Korea. At the same time, this presence has led North Korea to strengthen its military to counter the threat posed by US forces. This is a textbook example of a classic security dilemma. South Korea is currently exploring ways to decrease the US presence in the region in hopes of reducing tensions between it and North Korea. While moves toward closer North-South relations are under way, reunification still seems years away.

Chart 1—3
Selected US Forces Korea (USFK) Equipment35
Force Quantity Equipment
Eigth US Army
140 M1 tanks
170 Bradley armored vehicles
30 155m Howitzers
70 AH-64 helicopters
Unknown Patriot Missile Batteries
US Air Forces Korea
70 F-16s
20 A-10s
2 U-2s

In January 2001, South Korea announced its intention to develop and deploy missiles with a range of 187 miles and a payload of up to 1,200 pounds, which will allow South Korea to strike deep into North Korean territories. 36 South Korea has presented its decision to enhance its missile capabilities as defensive, however, the new missiles could also be used in offensive actions. Because of close ROK-US relations, the United States has been willing to accept South Korea's assertion that the missiles will be defensive only. South Korea's decision was made following negotiations with the United States to revise an earlier agreement. In 1979, South Korea agreed to limit the range of its military missiles to 180 km in order to avoid an arms race on the Korean peninsula. In return, the United States agreed to grant South Korea US missile technology. South Korea's decision to proceed with its missile development was accompanied by the announcement of its plans to join the Missile Technology Control Regime, likely an attempt to avoid an escalation of the North-South Korean arms race.

The main organization in the South Korean government tasked with space research, development, testing, and evaluation is the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). It was established in 1989 as an institute within the Korea Institute of Machinery and Metals (KIMM). In 1996 KARI became independent of KIMM. 37 The structure of Korean government aerospace is unique. In the United States, there are civil, military, and intelligence space organizations, as well as a commercial space industry. On the other hand, in South Korea, KARI supports industry, universities, research institutes, and the military. South Korea has primarily been interested in space for its potential economic benefits, with a strong secondary focus on space's scientific applications. However, South Korea's knowledge of US systems, and its own advanced military technologies have certainly led to an awareness of the potential military benefits of space-based systems. South Korea has depended on the United States for access to space-based, military enabling technologies (from launch capability to communication and remote sensing satellite elements), yet recent South Korean actions suggest a readiness to confront the technological and economic challenges of space activities on their own. The ability to access space independently would allow South Korea the possibility of exploring possible military applications of space.
To date, KARI has been involved in three large projects: the Korean Multi-Purpose Satellite (KOMPSAT) series, a communications satellite, and a small satellite launch vehicle. The launch vehicle program is currently focused on a vehicle called the KSR-III, which is an intermediate stage of the final vehicle development scheme. 38
KOMPSAT-1 was launched on 22 December 1999 from Cape Canaveral on a Taurus launch vehicle. The satellite was developed by TRW and built by KARI. It carries a low-resolution (1km) CCD camera for ocean color measurement, a 7m panchromatic camera, an ionospheric sensor, and a high-energy particle detector. 39
The follow-on project, KOMPSAT-2, will be more ambitious than its predecessor. KOMPSAT-2 will carry a 4m multispectral camera, and a 1m panchromatic camera. An Israeli firm, El-Op, will produce the camera, which will be fitted onto a South Korean-built bus. This sale involves a significant amount of technology transfer. While KOMPSAT-2 is officially intended for civil purposes, its fine resolution will be ideal for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance military missions. Even though similar capabilities are commercially available, KOMPSAT-2 will be uniquely valuable to South Korea. In essence South Korea will have guaranteed access to high-quality imagery. South Korea's ability to obtain its own imagery without US veto may mark a certain erosion of US regional influence. This type of technological advance could have significant international repercussions, including the possibility that North Korea would attempt to secure a similar technology for itself from Russian or Chinese sources.
The goal of the KARI satellite communications project is for the ROK to produce its own communications satellite. To date South Korea has relied on foreign prime contractors to produce their communications satellites. South Korean satellite communications began with the small KITSAT-1 and KITSAT-2 satellites, launched in 1992 and 1993 respectively. KARI and the University of Surrey, England co-developed both satellites. The KITSATs were microsatellites with modest "store and forward" messaging capabilities. 40 Later, South Korea contracted with Lockheed Martin to build two large communications satellites, Koreasat-1 and Koreasat-2. These satellites were launched in August of 1995 and January of 1996, respectively. On September 4, 1999, Arianespace launched Koreasat-3, which was built by Lockheed Martin, with assistance from Korean contractors Daewoo, Doowon, Halla Engineering, Hyundai, and Korean Air (Chart 2 -1). 41

Chart 2—1
Koreasat Technical Data42,43
Koreasat-1 15 Ku-band transponders, GEO orbit
Koreasat-2 15 Ku-band transponders, GEO orbit
Koreasat-3 24 Ku-band (Fixed Satellite Service), 6 Ku-Band (DBS), 3 Ka-Band Transponders, GEO orbit

KARI began using small sounding rockets in 1993. The KSR-I single stage sounding rocket had a payload of 150-kg, and an apogee of 40 - 55 km. It was used for gathering basic scientific information over the Korean peninsula. KSR-II was launched in 1997 as two-stage rocket with a 150-kg scientific payload and 130 - 150 km apogee. 44 Despite its development of indigenous launch vehicles, all of South Korea's major satellites, including KOMPSAT and Koreasat have been launched on either US or French launch vehicles.
KARI is now working on the KSR-III, which is also a sub-orbital sounding rocket. In December 1999, South Korea announced plans to have an operational commercial launch vehicle for small satellites by 2005. 45 South Korea would begin building a launch facility in 2001 and complete it in 2004. 46 Development of such a rocket will likely cost between $500 million and $1 billion. 47 South Korea hopes that development of an indigenous space launch ability will encourage its high technology industries, guarantee Korean access to launches, and potentially generate profits for the nation. While South Korea has stated its proposed rocket would not be intended for military purposes, international security analysts fear that the technology could easily be transferred to military purposes, either by South Korea or by other nations. With its own launcher, it would be easier for South Korea to build long-range missiles (see discussion of South Korean missile developments in prior section). While South Korea has legitimate economic motivations for its desire to create its own rocket launcher, this technology clearly has potential military utility. Even if South Korea does not utilize its launcher for military purposes, other nations in the region may react by enhancing their military technologies and capabilities accordingly.
South Korea has access to many advanced space services because of its friendly relationship with the Western world. It is also well positioned to buy and use commercial satellite imagery because of its relatively strong economy and "friendly" international status. Its military ties with the US allow South Korea access to sensitive critical data concerning its more hostile neighbors. South Korea has access to space manufacturing technology via numerous international firms. Its recent purchase of a high resolution camera from Israel shows that even critical technologies are available for purchase in the international market.
South Korea considers a strong domestic economy and diverse economic ties as essential to both its economic health and its security environment. It continues to solidify its industrial base, and work to enhance its aerospace industry, both through technology transfer, and through enhancement of its domestic industry. Domestically, South Korea maintains a strong electronics industry. Many South Korean companies have experience building components for various satellite systems like Globalstar and Iridium. 48 Since 1997, Hyundai Electronics Industries has pursued contracts as a prime contractor on satellite manufacturing, and had competed for the Koreasat-1 satellite contract that eventually was awarded to Lockheed Martin.
Korea's strong economy is increasingly matched by a robust democracy- but the lingering threat of North Korea continues to cast a shadow over South Korea's development.

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