News / Asia

South Korea Looks to Increase Arms Exports

South Korea Looks to Increase Arms Exportsi
X
November 15, 2013 3:54 PM
South Korea aspires to become a top player in the global arms industry. But some observers are concerned where those weapons are headed. From Seoul, reporter Jason Strother has more.
Jason Strother
South Korea aspires to become a top player in the global arms industry. But some observers are concerned where those weapons are headed.
 
The Seoul Aerospace and Defense Expo attracts arms manufacturers from across the globe.  It is also a venue for South Korean firms to showcase the latest in technology for weapons on land and in the air.   
 
Baek Yoon-hyung is a South Korean air force pilot and spokesperson for the Defense Acquisitions Program Administration, DAPA, a government agency that oversees military imports and exports.  He said South Korea targets developing economies to sell its weapons. “Basically Korea doesn’t have advanced technologies, but we have general and rigid technologies.  We could share the market in certain place.   We aim to expand to the niche market,” he said. 
 
According to DAPA, South Korea’s military exports have grown 10 fold in the past decade, totaling just over $2.3 billion in 2012. And compared to other arms exporting nations, South Korea comes in 15th in terms of sales.  DAPA says it wants to break into the top ten.
 
Ambitious newcomers in the global arms trade, like South Korea, are a concern observers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI. Senior Researcher Siemon Wezeman spoke to VOA over Skype.
 
“Sometimes they look for markets in slightly dodgy places, places where not everything is ok. Places where human rights are an issue, where internal tensions or tensions with neighbors are an issue,” explained Wezeman.
 
Wezeman said South Korea’s plans to sell military equipment to the Philippines might raise tensions with China. The two countires are locked in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.
 
But analyst Kim Byung-ki of Korea University said the Philippines has a genuine need for security that South Korea can provide for.  “The Filipinos have a right to have a defensive weapon to both deal with internal human trafficking, terrorists, narcotics and criminal organizations connected to the outside world, and of course to have a minimal and robust defensive capability against a great power,“ Kim stated.
 
DAPA’s Baek Yoon-hyung said the South Korean government recognizes these regional concerns. “When we consider opening the market, opening sales to other countries, we consider neighboring countries relationships and possible disputes.  We don’t want to cause any trouble between the countries,” said Baek.
 
Baek said that by following those standards, South Korea hopes to land more and more weapons deals.

Producer Malte Kollenberg also contributed to this report.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More