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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid