South Korea and the United States have agreed to expand their alliance beyond the Korean peninsula into outer space.
"President Biden and I have agreed to enhance pragmatic collaboration on a range of new industries including semiconductors, batteries, nuclear energy, space development and cybersecurity."
According to the joint statement released during Yoon Suk-yeol and Joe Biden's summit on Saturday, the two allies will start by building on the Artemis program that South Korea, under the previous Moon Jae-in administration, committed to participating in.
"The Artemis Program is a U.S.-led, international space exploration program that aims to make manned lunar exploration possible by 2025 and construct a manned lunar base by 2028.. In the long term, it's also preparing for missions to Mars."
Yoon and Biden also agreed to foster joint research in space exploration and back the development of the Korean Positioning System or KPS Korea's own version of the GPS.
"Completion of the KPS would give us a steady supply of precise information regarding time, location and navigation near the Korean Peninsula Information essential to the fourth industrial revolution: autonomous cars, urban air mobility and unmanned robots."
By the end of the year, the two countries plan on holding their third "Civil Space Dialogue" to strengthen cooperation on their space industries and work together towards a safe, secure and sustainable space environment.
They've also vowed to forge stronger "defense space partnerships" through joint exercises.
Regarding nuclear energy, meanwhile, Saturday's statement revealed Yoon and Biden have committed to the development and global deployment of advanced reactors and small modular reactors as well as the construction of a more resilient nuclear supply chain in accordance with the "highest standards of nuclear nonproliferation."
It comes amid a heightened awareness of energy security and climate change given the increased volatility in the global energy market fueled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.