Nearly 80 % of South Korea’s foreign arms purchased from U.S.: data

An F-35A stealth fighter lands at an air base in Cheongju, 137 kilometers south of Seoul (Yonhap)

An F-35A stealth fighter lands at an air base in Cheongju, 137 kilometers south of Seoul (Yonhap)

Seoul: South Korea spent 45.8 trillion won ($38.3 billion) in the past 13 years to purchase arms from abroad, with the United States being the largest seller with some 80 percent of the total, data showed Sunday.

South Korea spent a total of 35.8 trillion won on U.S. arms from 2006-2018, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration’s data submitted to Rep. Hong Young-pyo of the ruling Democratic Party.

Among the total transactions with the U.S., 24.8 trillion won was from government-to-government foreign military sale (FMS) contracts and the remaining 11 trillion won was made in commercial deals, the data showed.

The largest contract signed during the period was the over 7 trillion-won deal to buy 40 F-35A stealth fighter jets.

South Korea has so far brought in eight F-35As beginning with two in late March and showcased the fighters to the public for the first time last week. The government plans to deploy all 40 by 2021.

By country, Germany was the second-largest arms seller to South Korea with 4.1 trillion won, followed by Britain with 1.38 trillion won and Israel with 1.27 trillion won, according to the data.

YONHAP

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