South Korea and Saudi Arabia Strengthen Defense Cooperation

South Korea and Saudi Arabia Strengthen Defense Cooperation

Seoul and Riyadh have come together to enhance their cooperation in defense matters. 

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced that the two countries signed an agreement on Sunday. 

This agreement aims to expand their defense partnership, and South Korea hopes to sell more military equipment in the region.

Under this agreement, both nations will create a joint committee to collaborate on researching, developing, and producing weapons systems. 

DAPA’s press release stated that this partnership is crucial for their defense efforts.

South Korea’s Defense Minister, Shin Won-sik, visited Riyadh to attend the World Defense Show and signed the agreement with his Saudi counterpart, Khalid bin Salman Al Saud

Shin mentioned that they have built a solid foundation for future defense cooperation, describing it as a “future-oriented strategic partnership.”

During his visit, Shin also discussed strengthening their military ties and defense partnerships with Abdullah bin Bandar Al Saud, the Minister of Saudi Arabia’s National Guard.

Despite strong competition from other countries, South Korea is actively working to become a major weapons supplier globally. 

According to data from the defense ministry, their arms sales increased significantly to $17 billion in 2022, up from $7.25 billion the previous year. 

Their exports to the Middle East have also grown substantially over the past decade.

South Korean companies like HanwhaPoongsan, and LIG Nex1 have already secured deals with Saudi Arabia worth nearly $989 million for various military equipment, including rocket launchers, ammunition, and electro-optical systems. 

As noted in a November report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), more deals might be on the horizon.

The report highlighted that Arab Gulf states are exploring new sources for their defense needs beyond their traditional Western suppliers. 

South Korea offers advanced equipment options at competitive prices with shorter delivery times.

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