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S. Korea, U.S. hold annual defense cooperation meeting

South Korea and the U.S. held annual talks on promoting defense industry cooperation, Seoul‘s state procurement agency said Tuesday.

The 42nd annual meeting of the Defense Technology and Industrial Cooperation Committee (DTICC) took place in Washington on Monday local time, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.

Noh Dae-rae, head of the DAPA, and Frank Kendall III, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, co-chaired the meeting.

The DTICC is one of subcommittees of the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), an annual defense ministerial dialogue between Seoul and Washington.

At this year’s session, the two sides revised their agreement on quality assurance of traded arms, in a follow-up measure to an earlier change to the countries‘ weapons transactions, the DAPA added.

The U.S. passed legislation in 2008 to upgrade South Korea’s status regarding U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) to the same level as North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, helping speed up transactions and save administrative costs.

The DAPA said the two sides this time agreed to exempt South Korea from paying quality assurance fees on its arms purchases from the U.S. So far, Seoul has had to pay 0.65 percent of the dollar amount of each FMS deal for quality assurance, and the total has come to $13.6 million in quality assurance fees from 2006 to 2009, according to the DAPA.

The two sides also discussed the U.S. policy on defense acquisition following huge cuts to its defense budget, and emphasized the need for cooperation to ensure sustained growth of joint research and development in defense technologies and industries.

“South Korea and the U.S. exchanged in-depth opinions on pressing issues on technological and industrial cooperation,” the DAPA said in a statement. “Representatives also vowed to keep maintain the DTICC meeting as an effective dialogue channel supporting the annual SCM.” (Yonhap News)
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