Korea, Japan, China to Accelerate Joint Satellite Project

[Korea Times: 12-12-96]

Korea, Japan and China are planning to work out details on the three countries' joint satellite project by year-end, which was agreed upon at minister-level talks in August, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) said.

Korea will actively participate more in the three-way joint satellite project, while speeding up experiments on super high- speed satellite communications with Japan. Blueprint for the proposed Korean-Japanese-Chinese joint satellite program will then be unveiled by the end of this year. The MIC also plans to launch the digital TV broadcasting here in 2002 in line with the worldwide trend.

The long-term policy directives on satellite and broadcasting services were confirmed during a private-government discussion meeting, presided over by MIC Minister Kang Bong-kyun in Seoul yesterday. ``Participants in the meeting shared the view that the domestic satellite broadcasting industry should be intensively fostered to better cope with the liberalization and globalization trends of the sector,'' said an MIC spokesman. ``They also recommended that the government expand assistance to the video software industry and prevent foreign satellite broadcasters from rampantly entering Korea,'' he said, noting that some have proposed using satellite broadcasting to accelerate the national unification.

Minister Kang promised to extend maximum help to the manufacturers and exporters of digital broadcasting systems and encourage local businesses to expand investments in overseas satellite projects. In preparation for the launch of the digital broadcasting service in 2002, he noted, the MIC will complete related R&D works by 2000. He also said the government will introduce a variety of new broadcasting services, including radio data service (RDS), FM narration broadcasting and TV caption broadcasting, in order to meet the growing public demand for diverse programming and improve the welfare of handicapped people.

Reflecting the worldwide trend of combining broadcasting and telecommunications, the government will positively consider allowing cable TV operators and telecom service providers to enter each other's field in the near future.