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S. Korea, UAE discuss defense industry cooperation

All News 17:55 March 18, 2022

SEOUL, March 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Defense Minister Suh Wook met his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart, Mohammad Ahmed Al Bowardi, in Seoul on Friday to discuss arms industry cooperation and other issues, his ministry said.

Their meeting came two months after the UAE signed a preliminary deal to purchase South Korea's mid-range surface-to-air missile system (M-SAM).

Suh expressed gratitude to the UAE's minister of state for defense for the import decision, saying South Korea will continue to help the UAE military obtain related operational capabilities.

The M-SAM system, called Cheongung II, is a core element of South Korea's multi-layered anti-missile program.

Al Bowardi praised South Korea's defense industrial capabilities, reaffirming arms industry cooperation is a top priority in the two countries' special strategic partnership.

The two sides also shared their assessment on the regional and security environment, with Al Bowardi expressing support for South Korea's endeavors for denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

After the talks, they visited the Korea Aerospace Industries in Sacheon, 440 kilometers south of Seoul, as the UAE expressed interest in South Korea's T-50 trainer jet, KF-21 fighter, light-armed helicopter, and next-generation helicopter satellite system.

The two countries have held annual defense ministerial talks since 2011. Suh visited the UAE last year.

South Korea's Defense Minister Suh Wook (R) poses for a photo with his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart Mohammad Ahmed Al Bowardi in Seoul on March 18, 2022, in this photo released by the Ministry of National Defense. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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