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S. Korean defense firms to take center stage at armaments exhibition in Poland

Sept. 5, 2023 - 10:17 By Yonhap
Military weapons displayed at the International Defense Industry Exhibition, Tuesday (Yonhap)

South Korean defense companies were set to showcase advanced weapons systems at an annual major arms exhibition in Poland this week, Seoul's arms procurement agency said Tuesday, as the two countries seek to step up security cooperation.

The International Defense Industry Exhibition, or MSPO, will kick off later in the day for a four-day run at Kielce, joined by 30 South Korean companies, including the country's sole aircraft maker, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd., as well as Hanwha Aerospace Co., according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

For this year's event, South Korea has been chosen as the lead nation after its companies clinched major deals last year to supply K2 tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers, FA-50 light attack aircraft and Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers to Warsaw.

As the lead nation, South Korea will host a conference on bilateral defense industry cooperation Wednesday to discuss the direction of their cooperation and new defense agendas being explored, including submarine development, according to DAPA.

DAPA said it expects the exhibition to serve as an opportunity to make efforts to find new areas of defense cooperation with Poland, such as ammunition and military vehicles.

"We will further strengthen defense industry cooperation with Poland, which shares universal human values, such as freedom, human rights and peace," DAPA Minister Eom Dong-hwan was quoted as saying.

The event comes after President Yoon Suk Yeol and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, agreed to make efforts for bilateral arms industry cooperation to be carried out in a mutually beneficial way during their summit in Warsaw in July.

MSPO is the third-largest defense exhibition in Europe. This year's event is expected to be attended by some 25,000 defense officials from 39 countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Turkey, according to DAPA. (Yonhap)