S. Korea’s arms exports top $13 bln this year: defense minister

SEOUL– South Korea recorded US$13 billion worth of arms exports in the first nine months of this year, Seoul’s defense chief said Thursday in a report to President Yoon Suk-yeol.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said defense exports so far this year have created an overall economic effect worth 38 trillion won (US$26 billion), briefing Yoon on the arms industry during an emergency interagency meeting on economic issues.

The minister underlined a commitment to promoting the “steady” growth of the country’s defense industry.

Lee reiterated that his ministry will make active efforts to ensure the defense industry will become a “national strategic” industry.

This year has seen South Korean defense firms cutting a series of arms deals with Poland and other countries to sell an assortment of weapons systems, like K9 self-propelled howitzers, K2 battle tanks and FA-50 light attack aircraft.

South Korea had recorded an annual average of $3 billion in defense exports before posting $7.25 billion last year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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