Potential $2.6b Military Sales To South Korea Approved By The US

Photo by jnn1776 via Flickr

The possible military sales to South Korea are worth $2.6 billion (1.98 billion pounds). It has been approved by the U.S. State Department. On Thursday, the Pentagon said that form the bulk of the sale will include 64 Patriot anti-ballistic missile weapons and six units of P-8A Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The denuclearization discussions are stalled between North Korea and Washington.

The Poseidon aircraft is manufactured by Boeing. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) of the Pentagon said that these are used for conducting maritime reconnaissance and hunting submarines and are worth up to $2.1 billion.

The Congress has only 15 days to oppose the said sale, however, that would be unlikely because of the close relationship between Washington and Seoul, which stations tens of thousands of its troops on the South Korean soil in order to defend against the threat from nuclear-armed North Korea.

Last June, the South Korean procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced that it had decided to purchase the P-8 Poseidon aircraft.

At that time, the contract was worth approximately $1.71 billion. The DSCA authorization that was released last Thursday included logistics, training, services, and support equipment that could affect the price.

South Korea, is an ally of the United States of America. It is engaged in discussions with North Korea on improving the relations of both countries. On the other hand, the United States is involved in its own diplomatic efforts with North Korea over the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea was pressured by Washington by imposing sanctions to drop its nuclear weapons program.

The Patriot anti-missile systems are made by Lockheed Martin Co. They are aimed to defend against ballistic missiles. The Pentagon said that it is estimated to cost $501 million.

64 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles were requested by the Republic of Korea.

The proposed sales were notified to Congress on Thursday. The DSCA said that it will help South Korea improve its missile defence capability and support the national security objectives of the United States by enhancing the naval capabilities of Seoul.