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(LEAD) S. Korea seeks ways to boost defense exports

All News 15:47 July 08, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo)

SEOUL, July 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is seeking ways to boost the competitiveness of local arms exporters as part of efforts to lead the world's defense industry, the government said Wednesday,

During a meeting presided over by Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo, officials discussed possible policies to expand arms exports and to increase the use of domestically produced parts in weapons systems, according to the defense ministry.

"The defense industry is the nation's core industry, fundamental to building strong security, as well as a future growth engine for our economy," Jeong said.

Sung said the industry ministry will fully support local production of key components of weapons systems, and make sure such development can lead to an increase in their outbound shipments.

According to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, the defense industry reported 14 trillion won (US$11.7 billion) in sales in 2019, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier, but its overseas sales dropped 11.5 percent to 1.77 trillion won.

Last month, Jeong met with chief executive officers of the country's leading defense firms and said the government will spend more on domestically produced arms to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo (C) speaks during a meeting on boosting South Korea's defense industry, in Seoul on July 8, 2020, in this photo provided by his office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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