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South
Korea
and
Australia
have
signed
a
nearly
$700
million
defense
deal
on
Monday
during
South
Korean
President
Moon
Jae-in”s
visit
to
the
country.
Under
the
agreement,
South
Korean
defense
company
Hanwha
will
provide
the
Australian
army
with
equipment
like
artillery
weapons,
supply
vehicles
and
radars.

Australia, South Korea sign historic defense agreement

The
deal,
worth
one
billion
Australian
dollars
($717
million,
€635
million),
is
the
largest
defense
contract
between
Australia
and
an
Asian
nation,
local
media
reported.

Strengthening
diplomacy

“The
contract
that
we
have
signed
today,
I
think,
speaks
volumes
about
what
we
believe
are
the
capabilities
of
the
Korean
defense
industry,”
Australian
Prime
Minister
Scott
Morrison
said.
The
new
defense
contract
is
expected
to
create
close
to
300
jobs
in
Australia,
where
a
division
of
Hanwha
operates.

The
agreement
was
signed
as
Moon
was
in
the
Australian
Capital
Territory
on
a
four-day
visit
to
mark
the
60th
anniversary
of
diplomatic
relations
between
the
two
countries.
The
two
leaders
agreed
to
upgrade
the
formal
ties
between
South
Korea
and
Australia
to
a
“comprehensive
strategic
partnership.”

No
diplomatic
boycott
of
Beijing
Olympics

During
his
time
in
Australia,
Moon
laid
emphasis
on
developing
ties
with
China,
ruling
out
joining
the
United
States”
diplomatic
boycott
of
the
2022
Winter
Olympics
in
Beijing.

“We
need
the
constructive
efforts
of
China
to
enable
denuclearization
of
DPRK
(North
Korea),”
Moon
said,
referring
to
Beijing”s
role
in
promoting
peace
in
the
region.

However,
the
defense
contract
comes
as
tensions
are
heightened
between
Australia
and
China.
Canberra”s
recently
announced
deal
to
build
nuclear-powered
submarines
in
partnership
with
the
US
and
Britain
was
widely
condemned
by
Beijing.

Moon
is
the
first
international
leader
to
visit
Australia
after
the
country
eased
its
pandemic-induced
border
restrictions.
During
his
visit,
the
two
countries
signed
a
series
of
technology
and
military
cooperation
agreements.

Source: DW

#Australia #South #Korea #sign #historic #defense #agreement

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