(LEAD) S. Korea, Saudi Arabia agree to expand defense industry ties

SEOUL, South Korea's defense chief met with Saudi Arabia's ministers of defense and national guard to discuss ways to bolster defense industry ties between the two countries, his office said Monday. Defense Minister Shin Won-sik held separate meetings with Saudi Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman Al Saud and Minister of National Guard Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh on Sunday (local time) during his visit to the kingdom. During the talks held on the sidelines of the World Defense Show, the two sides discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in defense and the arms industry, the ministry said. On the margins the defense exhibition, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Saudi defense ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to pave the way for cooperation in the defense industry and joint weapons development. Under the MOU, the two sides will launch a bilateral committee to jointly conduct research and development of weapons systems for continued cooperation in the defense industry, DAPA said. Shin was on a three-nation trip to the Middle East, which took him to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He will arrive in Qatar on Monday for the final leg of his tour. Source: Yonhap News Agency