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S. Korean, Australian defense chiefs visit construction site for K9 howitzer factory

Defense 22:49 August 05, 2022

SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- The defense chiefs of South Korea and Australia visited the construction site for a South Korean firm's howitzer factory in Australia on Friday, Lee's ministry said, a visit designed to highlight their shared desire for stronger arms industry cooperation.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, toured the K9 self-propelled howitzer factory of Hanwha Defense in Geelong -- Marles' hometown and local constituency -- following their talks on bilateral cooperation the previous day.

The visit was arranged based on Marles' proposal to underline Geelong's industrial capacity and the potential for bilateral defense industry cooperation, according to the ministry. Libby Coker, a member of the Australian Parliament, was also present.

"While touring the factory premises, the two ministers shared the understanding that Australia's K9 project will be a symbol of bilateral defense industry cooperation and a foundation for an expansion into mutually beneficial cooperation," the ministry said in a press release.

On the same day, the ministers also visited Deakin University, a key institute for industry-academia defense cooperation.

There, they shared the view on the need for the two countries to further activate technological cooperation, the ministry said.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (2nd from R) and his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles (2nd from L), are briefed on the construction site for the K9 self-propelled howitzer factory of Hanwha Defense in Geelong on Aug. 5, 2022, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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