Israel has become the largest arms supplier to South Korea
During 2010-2011, ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea [South Korea] awarded a contract worth US$ 280 million to Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd, for developing and supplying the EL/M 2032 Multimode Fire Control Radar system for the ROK’s FA/TA-50 training jet. The radar was chosen by the customer for its advanced system compared to other competitors. The second contract is for advance air defense system to ROK. The radar enhances a fighter jet’s air-to-air, air-to-ground, and air-to-sea capabilities, enabling long-range target detection and high-resolution mapping, among other features. The TA/FA-50 aircraft is being developed in the ROK by Korean Aerospace Industries [KAI], and will become operational with the radar system, which is co-produced with the Korean company LIG Nex1. Now South Korea is willing to expand the defense cooperation with Israel and Kwon Oh-bong, the vice commissioner of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration [DAPA], South Korea hinted that his country is planning to turn Israel into its main arms supplier, following recent border incidents with its northern communist neighbour. Kwon Oh-bong, who recently visited Israel, met senior Defense Ministry officials. In his visit to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the South Korean official expressed an interest in the Irom Dome rocket interception system, which was activated successfully in southern Israel recently. “The security situation and threats faced by Israel and South Korea are very similar,” says Kwon. “We are constantly boosting our readiness against North Korea, and we’re exposed to the types of incidents and local provocations Israel is familiar with too. “We too are under a major threat of artillery, missiles and rockets, and we were briefed on Rafael’s air defense system. It’s a very interesting weapons system and we’ll consider it.”
How will South Korea vote on the question of the unilateral declaration of ‘Palestinian’ statehood next month and will South Korea participate in the Durban III conference?