Korea signs defense cooperation deal with Saudis

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Korea signs defense cooperation deal with Saudis

Korea and Saudi Arabia signed a defense cooperation agreement yesterday, laying a foundation to boost military procurement and natural resources business between the two countries.

“Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, crown prince and minister of defense of Saudi Arabia, signed the agreement [in Saudi Arabia],” Lim Kwan-bin, deputy defense minister for policy, said yesterday.

“Saudi Arabia is the fifth country for us to sign a treaty with, following Israel, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

“This agreement has put Korea in an advantageous position in exporting defense articles and energy diplomacy,” Lim added.

The agreement defines the range of cooperation and interactions in defense, human resources, information exchange and education, regarded as a basic treaty among other defense agreements.

Statistically, Saudi Arabia has roughly 315,000 troops in total.

But its defense budget amounts to 1.5 times that of Korea, about 50.2 trillion won ($46.2 billion), a major player in the international defense industry.

By Jeong Yong-soo, Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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