Polish delegation visits S. Korea amid negotiations for arms deals

A Polish defense delegation has visited South Korea to examine Korean weapons systems and meet military officials, the state arms procurement agency said Monday, raising expectations for additional arms deals with the European country. The 20-member delegation on Sunday began their weeklong trip to South Korea, the first high-level visit since the new government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk took office in December. Seok Jong-gun, commissioner of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), met Deputy Defense Minister Pawel Bejda, Deputy Minister of State Assets Marcin Kulasek and other senior officials to discuss ways to expand defense industry cooperation, the agency said. In 2022, Poland signed procurement deals worth 17 trillion won (US$12.4 billion) to buy K2 tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers, FA-50 light attack aircraft and Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers to bolster its defenses in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war. The delegation's visit comes at a time when South Korea is mulling wa ys to provide state-backed loans and other financial packages to support another round of weapons deals to Poland, estimated at a total of 30 trillion won. The Polish officials are scheduled to visit Korean defense firms and military units, and observe a test-firing of a Chunmoo rocket system modified for export to Poland to check their capabilities and discuss terms of contracts, industry officials said. Among the companies on the list are K2 manufacturer Hyundai Rotem, K9 maker Hanwha Aerospace and aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries. Following the meeting, Seok said the delegation reaffirmed the new Polish government's willingness to continue cooperation in the defense industry and pledged to build on the momentum from the delegation's visit. Source: Yonhap News Agency