South Korea Is Gong On A Massive Defense Spending Spree

South Korean soldiers face off with North Korean soldiers at Panmunjom in 2013. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/Reuters)

Defense News: Inside South Korea’s military wish list, as it seeks greater control over its forces

SEOUL — When South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited the White House this month, U.S. President Donald Trump used the meeting to tout that the Asian nation plans to buy of a large amount of American weapons systems in the years ahead.

“President Moon [Jae-in] and South Korea have agreed to purchase a tremendous amount of our military equipment, from jet fighters to missiles, to lots of other things,” Trump said at the April 11 meeting, where North Korea’s stalled denuclearization topped the agenda. “And we make the finest equipment in the world by far, and we appreciate the purchase. It’s a very large purchase.”

South Korea’s presidential office and military procurement authorities have since been tight-lipped about what might be in that “very large purchase.” But local defense experts and industry sources tell Defense News that acquisition decisions will focus on airborne systems with a price tag reaching 10 trillion won (U.S. $8.8 billion) over the next five to six years.

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WNU Editor: Bottom line, this is South Korea's wish list ....

.... The Ministry of National Defense said earlier this year that it would increase defense spending by an average of 7.5 percent each year over the next five years. The ministry said it would spend some $240 billion during that period, with about $82.7 billion of that set aside for improving weapons systems.

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