September 30, 2008

South Korea to Continue Contacts With Russia on Flight of Its Second Astronaut – President

MOSCOW. Sept 30 (Interfax-AVN) - South Korea has yet to decide on the date of the launching its second astronaut to space with Russia's assistance, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told journalists on Tuesday.

"We will continue to contact with Russia on the launch of our second astronaut into space," Lee said, noting that it has yet to be decided when an astronaut will be launched.

"We are not discussing this issue today," head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Anatoly Perminov said.

Lee also said that he sincerely hopes that "bilateral interaction will serve the goals of developing relations in space, science and engineering. Space and scientific cooperation will continue to develop in the future."

South Korea plans to become a space power in the future, the president said, noting that today it is at the initial stage of space exploration, which requires close cooperation with other countries such as Russia, which plays "a leading role in the development of science, engineering and space technologies."

"I hope that Mr. Perminov, as Roscosmos head, will provide necessary assistance to the South Korean space program," he said.

Sergei Shayevich, director of the program to build first South Korea's space rocket, KSLV-1, said that its launch is scheduled for the first half of 2009. A 100-kilogram satellite will be the first spacecraft launched by KSLV-1, he said.

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