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Korea, Thailand to boost ties on satellite, smart cities

South Korea and Thailand agreed Thursday to promote bilateral cooperation in science and technology and on a smart city project, as the Southeast Asian country is pushing for various infrastructure projects.

The two sides discussed ways to strengthen partnerships and signed two related memoranda of understanding in ministerial meetings here, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. ICT is an acronym for information and communication technology.

Minister Choi Yang-hee held separate talks with Pichet Durongkaveroj, the Thai minister of science and technology, and the nation's ICT Minister Uttama Savanayana.

They are on a visit to Seoul, accompanying Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak who led an economic delegation.

Choi requested the Thai government's "interest and support" in and for South Korea's efforts to participate in its satellite project.

Thailand is seeking to develop an earth observation satellite and ground system for more effective land and disaster management.

The two sides will also collaborate actively on Thailand's construction of "smart cities" and the development of digital content.

Thailand aims to become a regional digital hub. It plans to launch a major project this year to transform the two popular tourism areas -- Phuket and Chiang Mai -- into smart cities that focus on tech startups.

"Through these meetings (with the Thai ministers), South Korea will be able to push for some joint projects in earnest," Choi said without providing details. (Yonhap)