South Korea seeks to increase exports of high-speed patrol boats to Kazakhstan

January 25, 2010 10:55 pm 

SEOUL, Jan. 25 — South Korea is planning to discuss ways to increase exports of its high-speed patrol vessels to Kazakhstan during a meeting between the two countries' naval chiefs on Monday, local media said quoting a defense official in Seoul.

Kazakh Navy Capt. Zhanzakov Zhandarbek will begin his five-day visit to Seoul on Monday, with schedules to meet with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Ok-kun, as well as the chief of South Korea's weapons procurement agency.

"We expect some positive results that will lead to stronger export deals (of patrol boats) to Kazakhstan," a defense ministry official was quoted as saying by Seoul's Yonhap news agency.

Following the deal in March 2006 when South Korea handed over three retired patrol boats to Kazakhstan, the official said a similar deal would further bolster their cooperation in the defense technology sector.

"Kazakhstan has been modernizing its defense technology lately, and expressed an interest in purchasing more South Korean patrol vessels, as we are ready to help them move forward," an unnamed source told Yonhap.

The defense ministry, when contacted by Xinhua, admitted that the Kazakh Navy has expressed interest in importing South Korean patrol boats but declined to further comment on the issue.

Earlier this month, the procurement agency said South Korea's defense exports reached a record high US$ 1.17 billion in 2009, with goals of increasing it to US$ 1.5 billion this year.

The final deal is expected to be signed following Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's visit to Seoul in April, Yonhap added. (PNA/Xinhua)

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