South Korea may buy drones from Poland to expand arms relationship, report says

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Poland has asked South Korea to buy its drones, particularly aerial attack vehicles used effectively in Ukraine, and Seoul is reviewing the request because it could help seal more contracts with a major arms buyer, a news report said on Monday.

Poland made a sales pitch for a range of its drones to a South Korean delegation led by Defense Minister Shin Won-sik that visited last month, South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported, citing unnamed government sources.

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The Polish government highlighted the drones’ effectiveness as proven in combat and their relatively low prices, Dong-a Ilbo reported.

Poland has signed major arms contracts with South Korea including a $22 billion deal in 2022 for mechanized howitzers, tanks and fighter jets, the largest weapons sales ever for South Korea.

“It isn’t easy for a one-way relationship where only Poland is buying South Korea’s weapons to be sustained,” a South Korean government official was quoted as saying in the newspaper report.

“If we buy Polish drones, that could promote the export of our weapons to Poland,” the official added.

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration referred to the Defense Ministry when asked about the report. The Defense Ministry did not immediately have comment.

South Korea has been making a major push to become the world’s fourth-largest defense exporter by 2027.

Poland is likely to sign another contract with South Korea in September for the delivery of more arms, in particular K2 tanks, Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz was quoted as saying in June by state news agency PAP.

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