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Romania to buy S. Korean K-9 howitzers for US$920 mln

June 19, 2024 - 21:45 By Yonhap
South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik (left) and his Romanian counterpart, Angel Tilvar, shake hands during their meeting in Romania on Wednesday in this photo provided by Shin's office. (Yonhap)

Romania has confirmed its plan to buy South Korean K-9 self-propelled howitzers for US$920 million, the defense ministry said Wednesday, in another boost for Seoul's drive to clinch more arms export deals.

Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tilvar announced the decision during talks in Romania with Seoul's defense chief Shin Won-sik, who is on a weeklong trip to Eastern Europe that will also take him to Poland, according to the ministry.

Shin thanked Tilvar for the decision and anticipated the deal -- the biggest in Romania's arms acquisition over the past seven years -- will further activate defense and arms cooperation between the two countries.

"South Korea will become the optimal partner for Romania's push to modernize its military," Shin said, adding he hopes the deal will lead to an array of cooperation, including joint manufacturing, cross training between relevant units and exchange of personnel.

During their talks, Shin and Tilvar agreed to further improve their cooperation in areas of military education and training, sharing of information and exchanges, defense acquisition as well as science and technology, according to the ministry.

In April, President Yoon Suk Yeol and his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, held a summit in Seoul and agreed to boost cooperation in defense and nuclear energy.

Shin and Tilvar called military cooperation between Russia and North Korea a security threat to Asia and Europe as they concurred on the need for close cooperation and responses by the international community, the ministry said. Their meeting coincided with summit talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Pyongyang.

Shin is set to leave for a three-day trip to Poland later Wednesday, where he will co-chair a joint ministerial committee meeting on bilateral defense and arms industry cooperation with his Polish counterpart, Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, and visit an air base where South Korean FA-50 light combat aircraft have been deployed.

In 2022, Poland signed procurement deals worth 17 trillion won ($12.3 billion) to buy K2 tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers, FA-50 light attack aircraft and Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers to bolster its defenses in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war. (Yonhap)