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South Korea Wants To Buy Second-Hand Patriot Missiles From Germany

File image of a Patriot missile battery - Raytheon Image
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) March 13, 2007
South Korea this week started negotiations with Germany to buy second-hand, U.S.-built Patriot anti-ballistic missile interceptors.

The Korea Times reported Tuesday that senior South Korean and Germany defense officials from South Korea and Germany had that same day initiated three days of discussions to boost their cooperation. The newspaper cited the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, as its source.

"High on the agenda is Seoul's purchase of second-hand Patriot anti-missile systems from the European country," the newspaper said, quoting officials.

The South Korea Times said that the talks were being headed by two of the most senior defense industry/procurement officials in Seoul and Berlin. "Lee Chung-won, director-general of the agency's defense industry promotion bureau, leads the Korean delegation, while Klaus Von Sperber, director of the international armament affairs bureau in Germany's Defense Ministry, will represent Germany at the meeting," it said.

The paper said that the Seoul government planned to buy no less than 48 Patriots under a $1-billion project called SAM-X. The purchase package will also include "launch modules and relevant radar systems from Germany beginning in 2008 to replace (South Korea's) aging ground-to-air Nike Hercules missiles," the report said.

The newspaper said the South Korea Defense Ministry was still trying to get the National Assembly, the nation's parliament, to approve funding for the program.

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US General To Reassure Ukraine On Missile Defence Shield
Kiev (AFP) March 13, 2007
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