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Allies advised to expand defense industry ties

All News 09:54 December 12, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- The head of South Korea's state arms procurement agency said Tuesday closer defense industry ties with the United States will serve as the driving force of the bilateral alliance.

"Defense industry technology cooperation is a cornerstone to expand the base for the South Korea-U.S. alliance and guarantee the interoperability of their combined operation," Jeon Jei-guk, chief of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), said in a keynote speech at a forum in Washington, D.C., according to his organization.

DAPA co-hosted the South Korea-U.S. Defense Acquisition and Security Cooperation conference there, along with the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET), and the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).

Jeon presented a vision for establishing a virtuous cycle of the improved alliance contributing to the deepening of their defense industry partnerships.

Jeon Jei-guk, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), delivers a keynote speech at a forum on South Korea-U.S. defense industry cooperation in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 11, 2017, (local time) in this photo provided by DAPA. (Yonhap)

Among U.S. participants were John Hamre, president and CEO of the CSIS; Stephen Welby, former assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering; and Sean Stackley, former assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition.

The forum was held as KAI, South Korea's sole aircraft maker, has teamed up with Lockheed Martin to bid for the U.S. Air Force's T-X project to replace its aging fleet of some 350 T-38 trainer jets, a deal reportedly worth US$16 billion.


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