South Korea, Indonesia push for ministerial defense talks
In this file photo, taken on Jan.22, 2021 and provided by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), workers assemble the first prototype of the South Korean indigenous fighter jet KF-X at its factory in the town of Sacheon, in the southeast. (Aerospace Industries of Korea)
The question of whether Indonesia, a partner of the KF-X project, will send senior officials to the deployment ceremony has been the focus of attention as it could be a sign that the country remains committed to the joint project amid speculation that he is seeking to leave the company.
Sources said Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto is expected to attend the event, which will take place in the first two weeks of April, but the ministry has yet to confirm his attendance.
“A ministerial meeting will be possible if Prabowo visits South Korea. We are cooperating with all open possibilities,” ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan said at a regular press briefing. “As Minister Prabowo also visited Japan, we are actively discussing with Indonesia.”
Indonesia had promised to cover 20% of the 8.8 trillion won ($ 7.9 billion) in development costs for the new fighter, but it stopped paying after investing 227.2 billion won with about 600 billion won in arrears.
In the midst of a media report, Indonesia demanded to halve its contribution to the project, with the arms buying agency denying the burden-sharing ratio adjustment.
“The report that he demanded the construction of local production facilities is also not true,” Defense Procurement Program Administration spokesman Colonel Seo Yong-won said. .
Asked to comment on South Korea’s request for $ 5 billion in loans, Seo said, “This is not a question for the arms buying agency to answer.” (Yonhap)