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South Korea, U.S. sign defense industry info-sharing pact

By Ryan Maass
South Korea, U.S. sign defense industry info-sharing pact
Defense officials from the U.S. and South Korea will meet each year to discuss their latest developments and exchange information. Photo by Senior Airman Brittany Y. Auld/U.S. Air Force

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Defense acquisition officials from the United States and South Korea will sign an industry cooperation agreement to deepen their relationship.

The pact facilitates the trade of information, weapons, and additional military equipment between the two allies. South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration head Chang Myoung-jin plans to sign the memorandum of cooperation alongside U.S. Deputy Commerce Secretary Bruce H. Andrews.

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"We have had some difficulties in obtaining credible information on the U.S. and other foreign countries' weapons companies. The bilateral pact will help us sign agreements with weapons firms," Myoung-jin told the Yonhap News Agency.

Under the agreement, the agencies will meet each year to discuss information regarding their respective defense industries. The first meeting will take place in Washington, D.C., ahead of the signing. South Korea plans to ink similar deals with other countries.

"The country is also planning to sign a similar pact with countries, such as France, Britain and Israel," DAPA programming and support director Kim jong-chool explained. "It will not only help secure credible weapons partners but increase weapons exports."

News of the upcoming agreement follows DAPA's announcement of a new round of procurements including a long-range rocket and a next-generation frigate. IHS Janes reports the agency has approved the local development of a 230 mm long-rocket as a protective measure against North Korea. Officials estimate the project to be completed by 2020.

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