Chosun Ilbo bitching about South Korea falling behind in the space race

You know who’s really upset about the North Korean missile launch?

The Chosun Ilbo, that’s who.

To be sure, they’re upset about the security lapse. But they’re also upset that according to “experts,” the South now lags seven to 10 years behind the North in space launch development. Which really ticks them off, because the South has 39 times the GDP or the North, 19 times the per capita income, and was ranked the world’s fifth most scientifically competitive nation by the IMD.

The problem, they say, is—wait for it, wait for it—the bilateral missile agreement Seoul has with los Estados Unidos. This agreement, says the Chosun, blocks Korea from not only building long-range missiles, but also developing rockets for space exploration. Even with the Naro project, the has inspected the Agency for Defense Development several times to make sure no missile parts have gone into it. Which, IMHO, is a dick move.

At any rate, the Chosun notes there’s no reason South Korea should be behind the North in space technology, that Japan and China have space programs, and Seoul needs to get with the program and present a new national vision and strategy for science and space development.

Marmot’s Note: I’m on record supporting South Korea’s development of not only long-range missiles, but also nice, shiny MIRV warheads to sit on top of those missiles, so sure, I’m down with rockets for “space exploration.” Whether space exploration should be a national priority is another matter. There was a time the Soviets were ahead of the United States in space technology, and look where that got them.

For what it’s worth, Park Geun-hye said during the last debate that the Korean flag would be flying on the moon by 2020. Moon Jae-in thought this was a good idea, too. Korea currently plans to put a landing vehicle on the moon by 2025. When will they put Sam Rockwell on the moon? That’s anyone’s guess.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    “For what it’s worth, Park Geun-hye said during the last debate that the Korean flag would be flying on the moon by 2020. Moon Jae-in thought this was a good idea, too.”

    It’s silly season.

  • bballi

    Where’s Newt?

  • General

    Put the Korean flag on the moon eh….How much is that going cost?  Maybe for starters they should fix the bugs with the K2 Main Battle Tank first and develop better health programs to help people with mental illness.  Just food for thought…

  • madar

    To be fair they never said they would have maned landings, a robot rover like the one now on Mars with a little flag on top would do the job and be much less expensive with the small payload and no need for life support.  Probably doable but a still a silly use of money.

  • Byunghun Yoo

    Seriously don’t understand why Korea needs to pursue the space race…absolutely unnecessary.. 

  • Les Zsoldos

    I think space exploration is a waste of time and money.

  • Jang

    Who will believe it if it ever happens?

  • Django

    When a Korean female beats(first Astronaut) a Korean male to space, all the fun is gone.  Next!

  • Jakgani

    How does putting a Korean flag on the moon help the Korean people?

    It accomplishes nothing – except waste a lot of money.

    The USA wanted to nuke to moon to  smithereens during the cold war with Russia.

    I can’t see it happening in 8 years anyway, unless they pay Russia to carry the flag to the moon on a Russian craft.

  • disqus_G3yluC4qvg

     first spaceflight participant (tourist)……….not astronaut.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Horror, horror. Soon, there will be a relevant Kangnam Style parody for every topic of discussion under the Sun.

  • wangkon936

    What if Sam Rockwell had a Jamaican girlfriend?  Would the moon base have been called “Boonoonoonous”?

  • wangkon936

    Rob, sorry to burst your bubble, but I think MIRV warheads have a matte finish on them.  Something about the characteristics of the materials to help it survive reentry into the earth’s atmosphere.

  • Robert Koehler


  • SomeguyinKorea

     They don’t, but it puts money in the pockets of the chaebols and wins votes from people who are blinded by nationalism.

  • SomeguyinKorea

     I remember reading something about this years ago, before she was even picked by the government, but there was a Korean guy studying in the US who won a place on a Russian flight as part of some very prestigious scientific award.  I don’t think he’s been to space, but technically that makes him the first South Korean astronaut.

  • KrZ

    The talk about economic benefits from space exploration is silly. If they want to really capitalize on space they’d have to do something innovative, like a space elevator or one stage to LEO.

  • Sterling Copper

    Irrational spending of government budget on space program to purely show one’s superiority over the competing state?  With the goal to land on the Moon earlier than the other guy?  Hmmm… This all seems quite familiar…