South Korea launches a military space branch

The Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on January 3 that it has created a new branch of the military dedicated to developing the country's space security capabilities.

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South Korea launches a military space branch A single-stage rocket launches as part of a 75-ton engine test at the South Korean Naro Space Center in 2018 (Korea Aerospace Research Institute)

"Space powers, including the United States, China, Russia and Japan, have been expanding budgets substantially to get the upper hand in the space domain and making all-out efforts to develop related technologies," the JCS said in a press release.

The new Military Space Branch will function as a “control tower,” working together with the Air Force, Army and Navy on joint space-related operations. It noted that the new branch will also be in charge of developing a space defence strategy, as well as operational concepts designed to maximise the effectiveness of the country’s growing capabilities in this field.