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South Korea trying to sell Romania more weapons: defense minister

June 24, 2024 - 18:26 By Kim Arin
South Korean defense chief Shin Won-sik shakes hands with his Romanian counterpart Angel Tilvar on Wednesday during his trip to Romania. (South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense)

South Korea’s defense chief Shin Won-sik said Monday he will make efforts to secure orders for tanks, armored vehicles and air defense systems from Romania, which has decided to purchase the K-9 self-propelled howitzers.

The minister of national defense, who returned from a trip to Romania and Poland, told reporters at the defense ministry building in Yongsan, central Seoul, that he would try to get South Korean companies to enter the Romanian defense market.

He said Romania was in the process of modernizing its military, having recently bought some $8 billion worth of tanks, $3.2 billion worth of armored vehicles and $2.1 billion worth of anti-aircraft defense systems.

“Since Romania has already decided to get the K-9s, they were considering buying the rest of what they need from NATO countries. Over this trip, we made the pitch for meeting their needs better than others can,” he said.

“We told them that we could deliver faster, and other things that we have an advantage over. The Romanian side responded that they would be making the decision ‘as fairly as possible.’”

On the upcoming NATO summit in July, the minister said close cooperation between South Korea and the NATO members was “imperative.”

“NATO has supported our North Korea policies, and I am sure that we can count on them to be a reliable partner to support us should there occur any serious security instability affecting our country,” he said.

Over his visit to Romania on Wednesday, local time, the Seoul defense ministry said the Romanian side has decided to purchase the K-9 howitzers as well as military transport such as K-10 ammunition resupply vehicles and reconnaissance vehicles that are estimated to together total $920 million.