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Seoul's vice defense chief to visit Colombia, Peru this week

2015/01/29 11:55

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's vice defense minister plans to visit Colombia and Peru this week to explore ways to boost bilateral exchange and cooperation in the defense field, the defense ministry said Thursday.

During his three-day stay in Colombia starting Friday, Vice Defense Minister Baek Seung-joo is scheduled to sit down for talks with key military officials, including his counterpart, Secretary General Luis Manuel Neira Nunez, to exchange opinions on a wide range of issues of mutual concern, according to the ministry.

"Baek will propose signing a memorandum of understanding between the two nations to lay the groundwork for more solid military ties," it added.

He will then fly to Peru on Monday to meet with Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano Bellido as well as other key military officials to discuss pending issues.

"Baek will touch upon pushing a bilateral agreement on sharing military intelligence and the chances of South Korea winning Peru's fighter jet purchasing project," the ministry said.

South Korea is seeking to export its indigenous fighter jet, the FA-50, to the Latin American country. As a light attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer, the FA-50 was co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin. It is the most advanced variant of the T-50 family operated by the South Korean Air Force.

"Colombia and Peru are among the countries that maintain active cooperative relations with South Korea in the defense field. We expect the visit to be a chance to further deepen the practical friendship and cooperation," the ministry said.

The vice minister is set to return home on Wednesday.

South Korea's indigenous light attack airplane, the FA-50(Yonhap file photo) South Korea's indigenous light attack airplane, the FA-50(Yonhap file photo)

graceoh@yna.co.kr

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