Turning to S. Korea to boost defence

AT the meeting with his South Korean counterpart Shin Won-sik, Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang expressed Thailand’s interest in cooperating with the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) to help upgrade its defence industry, a source said.

Sutin praised the high potential of South Korea’s defence industry, with DAPA playing a key role. He pointed out that both countries have defence cooperation, including Thailand’s purchase of frigate and combat aircraft from South Korea, as well as South Korea’s participation in the annual Cobra Gold military exercise hosted by Thailand.

The DAPA is an executive branch of the South Korean government established in 2006 under the National Defence Ministry to oversee projects on the improvement of defence capability, the procurement of munitions and the fostering of defence industries.

The Thai defence chief, who had been on an official visit to South Korea from March 27-30, met Shin at the National Defence Ministry in Seoul last Thursday.During their meeting, the South Korean defence minister expressed gratitude to Thailand’s Little Tigers battalion who helped defend the South in the 1950-53 Korean War. He said the troops’ bravery resulted in peace in the Korean peninsula and helped South Korea prosper, quoted a source.

South Korean media outlet KBS World reported that Shin also expressed gratitude to Thailand and its military for its continuous contribution towards peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.Shin also briefed Sutin on South Korea’s weapons systems and said he hoped South Korean companies could take part in Thailand’s military modernisation project, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Sutin, meanwhile, said his trip was aimed at exploring opportunities for possible arms industry cooperation, which included visits to major defence companies, Yonhap quoted the South Korean Defence Ministry as saying.

The South Korean defence chief also invited Sutin to participate in the Seoul Defence Dialogue in September and the defence ministerial meeting of UN Command member states to be hosted by South Korea in November. — The Nation/ANN

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