South Korea Finalizing ‘Large-Scale Defense Cooperation’ with Saudi Arabia

A top South Korean official told reporters last weekend that the government was is in the “final stage” of an agreement to foster “large-scale defense industry cooperation” between Seoul and Saudi Arabia.

Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo made the statement after his president, Yoon Suk-yeol, held a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his ongoing visit to Riyadh.

Under Yoon, South Korean companies have become heavily involved in the development of Mohammed bin Salman’s flagship infrastructure project and the promised resort city of “Neom.”

“The defense industry is emerging as a blue ocean in our cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” Kim, the national security adviser, told reporters. “Large-scale defense industry cooperation discussions are in the final stage, in various areas such as antiaircraft defense systems and firearms.” 

“We intend to cooperate so that our weapons systems using our excellent defense industry technologies help strengthen Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities,” Kim continued, “and this will serve as a strong force for further expanding our achievements in defense industry exports.”

From Breitbart:

The newspaper reported that among the potential purchases by Saudi Arabia is “Korea’s Cheongung-II surface-to-air missile defense system,” which the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly purchased. The system would help protect the Saudi interior from rocket and missile attacks by the Houthi terrorist organization in neighboring Yemen. The Houthis, a Shiite terrorist gang, seized power in Sana’a in 2015, toppling the Saudi-backed Yemeni presidency, and have been waging a civil war to prevent the government from returning to power since then.