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South Korea to join Galileo

Science and Technology Minister Oh Myung approved a plan to join a satellite-based navigation system project led by the European Union, in a bid to reduce its reliance on the United States’ GPS.

The 3.4 billion euro Galileo project is expected to rival the GPS navigation system. South Korea will likely pay at least 5 million euros, or about 6.7 billion won, to participate in the project, the ministry said. The government plans to send an official letter of intent to join the Galileo project between March and April, the ministry said. If all goes as scheduled, a formal agreement will be sealed within this year.

South Korea, which has till now been dependent on the U.S. developed GPS satellite navigation system, is keen to encourage rival computerized navigation systems to increase security in information infrastructure and also give domestic electronics manufacturers a wider market for them to operate in.

Joining the Galileo project is also expected to help South Korea widen its political, economic and scientific ties with the European Union, the ministry said.