South Korea became the 33rd member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on March 26, as regime members unanimously approved its membership at a meeting in Paris. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which serves as the MTCR's official point of contact, acknowledged and welcomed South Korea's admission in a statement released March 28.
The MTCR is a voluntary regime in which members pledge to control the export of missile systems and missile technology capable of delivering a 500-kilogram payload 300 kilometers or more. South Korean accession had been anticipated since a January 17 announcement by the United States that it planned to support Seoul's membership in the regime. That same day, South Korea announced that, after five years of consultations with Washington, it would extend the maximum permitted range of its missiles to 300 kilometers. (See ACT, March 2001.)