Defense chiefs of Korea, Indonesia to hold talks

Published : 2016-03-23 14:05 Updated : 2016-03-23 14:05

The defense ministers of South Korea and Indonesia will hold talks on Wednesday to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in Seoul’s project to develop an indigenous fighter jet and other bilateral defense issues, the Ministry of National Defense said.

Defense Minister Han Min-koo and his Indonesian counterpart, Ryamizard Ryacudu, will meet in the ministry’s compound in central Seoul for the talks, which officials here say will focus on strengthening bilateral defense ties.

Topping the agenda is ensuring better cooperation in South Korea’s so-called KF-X project to develop and procure a warplane that will replace the country’s aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 fighter jets.

Indonesia has participated in the development phase of the KF-X project. The Southeast Asian state will shoulder 20 percent of the development costs in return for the provision of a prototype warplane and technological assistance.

The country’s largest procurement project ever that involves both the development and production of a new fighter is estimated to be worth nearly 20 trillion won ($17.4 billion). The project aims to develop a new fighter by 2025 and produce 120 fighters by 2032.

The two defense chiefs are also to discuss ways to bolster bilateral military exchanges, including people-to-people ones, Seoul officials said.

Han is expected to ask for Indonesia’s support with the international efforts to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Han and Ryamizard met each other twice last year — during an annual meeting of defense ministers, called the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in May and the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Malaysia in November.

Aside from his meetings with South Korean officials, Ryamizard also plans to visit South Korean defense firms and a set of defense-related sites, Seoul officials said. (Yonhap)

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