NEW DELHI ― President Yoon Suk Yeol held a summit with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in New Delhi, Saturday, and discussed ways to expand partnerships in the defense industry focusing on drones, military transport aircraft and other weapons.
According to Seoul’s presidential office, Yoon congratulated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey and expressed hopes of expanding bilateral trade on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of their bilateral free trade agreement.
Erdogan expressed gratitude for South Korea’s aid to Turkey after a massive earthquake hit the southern part of the country earlier this year and noted that their reciprocal economic relationship will be expanded.
During the summit, the leaders discussed defense industry cooperation, recognizing the partnerships that have been established until now.
In particular, Erdogan said the defense industry partnership should expand to cover drones, military aircraft and armored vehicles.
Turkey is one of the first countries to import South Korean weapons. Seoul licensed out technologies for its K2 Black Panther tank in 2004, which Ankara used to develop the Altay battle tank. Seoul’s K9 self-propelled howitzers were also licensed out to Turkey, which are being operated there as the T-155 Firtina.
South Korea is expected to learn drone technology and operating skills based on Turkey’s experience and expertise in that field.
The South Korean military launched a special drone operation unit on Sept. 1, after a North Korean drone intruded into a no-fly zone near the presidential office in Seoul on Dec. 26, 2022. The South Korean military failed to intercept the drones, laying bare its insufficient readiness to detect, track and shoot down the unmanned aerial vehicles.
As the drone unit is in its early stage, Seoul is seeking to expedite its operational capabilities through exchanges with allied countries including Turkey.
Turkey is home to Baykar, a defense company which developed the TB-2 medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicle. The drone gained international acclaim after being used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine against invading Russian forces
Yoon and Erdogan also agreed to continue consultations in South Korean nuclear power companies’ participation in Turkey’s new nuclear power plant project.
Yoon also held a meeting with the leaders of MIKTA ― a grouping of Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia ― on the sidelines of the G20 Summit and stressed the solidarity between the countries to overcome global crises.
He also noted that the member countries should cooperate to establish universal digital rules and order and bolster exchanges between their youth to create more opportunities in the future.
Yoon held a summit with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez and explored ideas on supply chain cooperation in key minerals required by the renewable energy industry.
Citing Argentina’s abundant lithium reserves, Fernandez expressed hopes of cooperation between the country’s lithium mining companies and South Korean battery makers to produce rechargeable batteries in his country.
Yoon said the two countries should review the idea together and also voiced hopes of joint projects combining Korea’s hydrogen energy technology and Argentina’s rich renewable energy resources.
Source : TheKoreaTimes