Korean Information Service, Korea and Russia formally began their full-fledged cooperation in the aerospace field with the signing of a technology safeguard pact, the government said Tuesday (July 3). 
The pact, agreed upon by the two governments in October, was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, the Ministry of Science and Technology said. 
Korea’s National Assembly had ratified the pact in early December and then awaited reciprocal steps by Russia. 
The Technology Safeguard Agreement is expected to boost Korea’s efforts to build rockets that can send small commercial and scientific satellites into space, the ministry said. It can also raise the transparency of the country’s space program, since the pact calls on both countries to adhere to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). 
The MTCR has strict rules against using the space technology for military applications, and bans any information or techniques learned from being handed over to a third country. 
Ministry officials added that the pact will permit the timely completion of the Naro Space Center in Goheung, Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province). The center was 98 percent complete as of late June, and will be used to launch Korea’s first rocket into space in late 2008. 
Seoul has been working with Moscow to build the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1). Russia is charged with building the first-stage rocket of the KSLV-1, while Korean engineers are making the second-stage booster. 
The Science Ministry, meanwhile, said the head of Russia’s space agency is expected to visit the Naro center in mid-July to exchange views on furthering cooperation in the aerospace sector.