(ATTN: CHANGES photo)
SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo said Monday the government is pushing to spend more money on buying arms developed by South Korean companies to help them cope with the growing economic fallout from the new coronavirus.
Jeong made the remark during a meeting with chief executive officers of the country's leading defense firms, referring to the cancellation of foreign defense expos and suspension of export talks in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
"We are putting efforts to spend more on purchasing arms from local companies, instead of buying from abroad, when drawing the budget plan for next year," the minister said during the conference in Seoul.
The remark is in line with the government's push to develop more home-grown parts and revitalize regional economies through the designation of defense industry innovation centers in provinces.
The southeastern city of Changwon and the surrounding South Gyeongsang Province have been named as the host for the country's first such center in April.
"We are working on how to better support (the industry), but there have been limits in drawing visible achievements," Jeong said. "Though it is not easy, I hope we can overcome this difficult situation together."
Seoul's last-ditch home supply plan still in doubt over its viability
Korean foodmakers ramp up overseas push amid COVID-19 pandemic
Bumpy road lies ahead for Samsung, even after heir avoids detention
One month into eased social distancing, S. Korea wrestles with cluster infections, cases with unknown routes
Virus outbreak sheds light on overlooked side of highly touted 'fast' delivery services