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South Korea, Israel boost defense ties

Jan. 12, 2011 at 8:30 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- South Korea is interested in boosting defense deals with Israel and procuring advanced weapons and technology, a Haaretz report says.

In a report Wednesday, the newspaper said with growing concern over North Korea's "intense aggression, Seoul has decided to increase its national defense budget by 25 percent and is wants Israeli drones, missiles, radar technology and possibly missile defense systems.

Trade between the two countries currently stands at $1.25 billion a year, two-thirds of which are South Korean exports to Israel with the remaining third mainly Israeli defense exports to South Korea, the newspaper said.

In October 2010, Israel's Aerospace Industries signed two huge deals for radar systems with South Korea produced by Elta. One system is used to identify missile launches and the other is installed in fighter jets, the paper said.

Israel is currently negotiating the purchase of T-50 South Korean trainer jets, the paper said. Israeli pilots have already flown to South Korea to test run the jets.

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