ROK and Inter-Korean relations
Return to Asian Geopolitics indexpage
Return to ROK and Inter-Korean relations page
“Non-protected” North Korean refugees suffer in a blind spot
Posted on : Nov.26,2015 16:39 KST
After not declaring their North Korean origins to government, such refugees not granted standard assistance
A woman surnamed Cho, 44, has changed nationalities three times since her mid-20s. Today, she is a citizen of South Korea, but until three years ago, she was legally Chinese - and from her birth until 1998, she lived in North Korea. The way she looks and talks are the same, but Cho feels that she has become a completely different person.
“I’m not sure what the point of coming all the way here to suffer was,” Cho said. In 2002 - still a Chinese citizen at the time - Cho married a South Korean citizen and entered South Korea. This was about four years after Cho bought a Chinese family register, and began life as a Chinese citizen, all with the goal of coming to South Korea.
Cho bore two daughters for her South Korean husband, but they only stayed together for seven years. She couldn’t put up with his beatings - and her mother-in-law’s cursing.
It was only in 2012, after her divorce, that Cho made up her mind to inform the South Korean government that she had “crossed the Tumen River” from North Korea into China. Her former husband had persuaded her not to reveal the fact that she was a North Korean refugee by telling her she would be arrested.
While she was struggling to make ends meet with her two daughters, she made up her mind to turn herself in after hearing that she could receive assistance from the government. She had toiled away in a number of jobs trying to make some money - including recruiting clients for a credit card company - but it had not been easy to keep food on the table.
“The result was that I became a ‘non-protected refugee.’ I didn’t know what it meant to turn myself in, and I didn’t know when the deadline was for that,” Cho said.
While other North Korean refugees were receiving a plethora of benefits from the South Korean government - included subsidized apartments, housing assistance, job training, job-finding incentives, and employment subsidies - Cho could not receive any of this.
Two Koreas agree to meet Dec. 11 for high-level talks
South and North Korea agreed Friday to open high-level talks on Dec. 11 to seek ways to defuse tension and mend ties.
The two sides will hold a vice-minister level dialogue at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex in North Korea, the Ministry of Unification said.
The agreement came in the wake of marathon-talks Thursday.
At the December talks, the two nations will discuss whether to slate the reunion of separated families on a regular basis and whether to resume the joint tour program on Mount Geumgang in North Korea.
But the significant deal of the Thursday talks remains elusive, according to Yonhap news agency, as the two sides failed to bring up any "big agreement" and showed differences in where to hold the December talks. South Korea hoped to hold the talks in either Seoul or Pyongyang as agreed in the Aug. 25 accord, but the North refused to do so.
[SK NK Negotiations]
[Analysis] Can upcoming meeting lead to real improvement in inter-Korean relations?
Posted on : Nov.28,2015 13:21 KST
Two sides have initially shown signs of flexibility, but details of chief delegates and agenda still need to be worked out
Kim Ki-woong, inter-Korean talks office chief with South Korea’s Ministry of Unification (right) meets with North Korean CPRK secretariat department director Hwang Chol on the northern side of Panmunjeom Peace Village, in preparation for inter-governmental meetings next month, Nov. 26. (provided by the Ministry of Unification)
With North and South Korea agreeing to hold talks at the vice minister level at the Kaesong Industrial Complex on Dec. 11 in order to discuss “pressing issues in the improvement of inter-Korean relations”, the next question is whether this will lead to progress in inter-Korean relations.
On Nov. 26, the two sides agreed to hold vice minister-level negotiations in a working-level meeting on the northern side of Panmunjeom that lasted until midnight.
The upcoming negotiations, which will bring together delegations headed by vice minister-level officials, will be a sequel to the “two plus two” talks that culminated in the Aug. 25 Agreement.
In the previous talks, South Korea was represented by National Security Office Chief Kim Kwan-jin and Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo, while North Korea was represented by General Political Bureau Chief Hwang Pyong-so and KWP Secretary Kim Yang-gon.
Most notably, North and South Korean officials defied the expectations of experts and the media by deciding that the delegations to the talks would be led by vice minister-level officials.
[SK NK Negotiations]
Two Koreas hold working-level dialogue this afternoon
North and South Korea kicked off a working-level meeting on Thursday afternoon to decide details of a high-level talks that the two countries agreed in August to hold as soon as possible, Yonhap news agency reported Thursday.
The preparatory meeting took place on the North's side of the truce village of Panmunjeom at 12:50 p.m. Seoul sent Kim Ki-woong as the chief negotiator for the meeting.
[SK NK Negotiations]
South Korea stages live-fire drill near sea border
November 23, 2015 3:35 AM
South Korean Marine Corps test-launches its Spike missile, which is capable of striking North Korea's facilities with satellite-guidance system, on Baengnyeong island, near Yeonpyeong island, in the waters off the Yellow Sea on October 29, 2013
South Korea on Monday staged a major live-fire exercise near the disputed inter-Korean sea border despite North Korea's warning of possible "merciless" retaliation, military officials said.
The drill was carried out around front-line islands in the Yellow Sea to mark the anniversary of North Korea's deadly shelling of one of them five years ago, the South's defence ministry said.
[NLL] [Provocation] [Yeonpyeong]
[Editorial] With Kim Young-sam’s death, the passing of an era in South Korean politics
Posted on : Nov.23,2015 11:54 KST
Kim Young-sam was born under a lucky star. Better known by the initials “YS,” he was a larger-than-life politician who left a heavy, distinct, and indelible footprint on the history of Korean politics.
Kim was an indomitable contender who never gave up the fight for democratization, and he played a leading role in sweeping out a string of presidents who began their careers in the army and ushering in civilian administrations. Even after being elected president, the bold measures he took for change and reform served as the launch pad for advancing South Korea to the next level.
Kim also mastered the art of radical political transformations. If the first half of his political career was as a fighter for democratization, his second act marked a dramatic shift to becoming a pivot of conservative politics. This volte-face casts a long shadow on South Korean politics even today.
Kim blazed a trail - marked with both glory and shame - in Korean political history along with Kim Dae-jung, president from 1998-2003. His death means that the “age of the two Kims,” as this period has been described, has passed forever into the pages of history.
While Kim made a number of memorable statements, the one that will probably be remembered the longest is this one: “Dawn will come even if the rooster is strangled.”
Kim Young-sam passes away
A portrait of former President Kim Young-sam is surrounded by hundreds of white chrysanthemums at his memorial altar in Seoul National University Hospital, Sunday. Kim died of a blood infection and heart failure earlier in the day.
By Kang Seung-woo
Kim Young-sam, the former president who helped end military rule and accepted an IMF bailout program in 1997, died early Sunday. He was 87.
Kim, who led the country from 1993 to 1998, was hospitalized Thursday due to a high fever and breathing problems before he passed away at 12:22 a.m., according to Seoul National University Hospital.
"Kim is believed to have died from acute stress derived from septicemia in addition to a worsened heart condition," Oh Byung-hee, chief of the hospital, said in a press briefing.
Ahead of the hospitalization, Kim had been admitted and discharged from the hospital several times in recent years after he suffered a stroke, angina and pneumonia due to his advanced age.
"The late Kim Young-sam dedicated his whole life to democratize and develop our country as the 14th president," Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said.
The government will commemorate him with a state funeral. The ceremony will take place at the National Assembly Thursday after a five-day period of mourning, Hwang said. Kim will be buried at the National Cemetery in Seoul.
Kim, a native of Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province, was a nine-term lawmaker who opposed military dictators from the 1960s through the 1980s. He was twice placed under house arrest in the early 1980s.
In 1979, he was expelled from the Assembly for his activities against then authoritarian leader Park Chung-hee. Kim laid the groundwork for a peaceful power transfer in a country that had been marked by military coups.
Before reunification, Korea is a whole lot different than Germany
Posted on : Nov.19,2015 16:52 KST
German expert recommends incremental steps toward reunification, to avoid some problems Germany experienced
Gyorgy Szell, an emeritus professor at Germany’s University of Osnabruck, speaks at the Hankyoreh-Busan International Symposium at the Nurimaru APEC House in Busan, Nov. 18. (by Kim Myoung-jin, staff photographer)
“The geopolitical situations in Korea and Germany are different. Korean unification would require much more preparation than Germany.”
This was the message delivered on Nov. 18 by Gyorgy Szell, an emeritus professor at Germany’s University of Osnabruck, in a presentation on “The Lessons of German Unification.” Szell was speaking on the first day of the Hankyoreh-Busan International Symposium at the second session on the topic of “inter-Korean relations for peace in East Asia.”
Szell based his characterization on three factors: South Korea’s economic and welfare levels lagging behind those of Europe, extreme political conflict between South and North, and lingering vestiges of South Korea’s dictatorial past.
“Social divisions in Germany have still not improved from twenty-five years ago,” he noted.
Szell’s message is that South Korea should acknowledge the possibility that reunification could take decades and avoid Germany’s failures by making systematic preparations in “slow, small steps.”
[Unification] [German model]
Koreas agree to hold talks next week
By Yi Whan-woo
South and North Korea agreed to hold a preparatory meeting on Nov. 26 for high-level talks in line with their agreement on Aug. 25, the Ministry of Unification said Friday.
It said Seoul accepted Pyongyang's offer to set up the meeting among working-level officials at Tongilgak, a conference building on the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone.
Police raid eight groups over violent rally
Police barricade headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU) in Seoul, Saturday. / Yonhap
Police searched Saturday for members of eight groups who led the massive downtown rally on Nov. 14 that turned violent, injuring more than 200 people including police officers and protesters, Yonhap reported.
Police searched 12 offices including the headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU) that organized the rally and seized computers and leaflets.
N. Korean leader begins to turn his eyes abroad
By Choi Sung-jin
A recent series of signals from North Korea seems to indicate that its young leader, who has solidified his grip on domestic affairs through his "politics of horror," may be turning his attention abroad, experts here said.
South and North Korea will have working-level talks next Thursday to prepare for the meeting between their ranking officials. Seoul proposed to hold the preparatory meetings no fewer than three times in September and October but Pyongyang did not respond favorably to any of these proposals.
South Korean Labor Strikes Back
South Korean workers are preparing to strike back at their government's labor reforms, trade agreements, and general indifference to the fate of working people.
By Hyun Lee, November 12, 2015.
Standing in the way of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s series of controversial labor market reform initiatives is the Korean Confederation Trade Unions (KCTU). The union confederation has vowed to “stop freight trucks in their tracks” and “immobilize the country” if the government continues to push through its comprehensive reform package.
The proposed reform would increase labor flexibility on a scale that is unprecedented since the country’s adoption of International Monetary Fund (IMF)-imposed structural adjustment policies in the late 1990s. Cloaked as a solution to growing youth unemployment, Park and South Korea’s ruling conservative party propose to replace the country’s seniority-based wage system with a flexible, performance-based system. The reform would start in the public sector and introduce a wage peak system, under which older workers swap an extended retirement age for fixed salaries regardless of their seniority. The reform would also relax conditions for the termination of workers, increase the use of temporary contract workers, reduce job security in all labor sectors, and allow employers to change their employment regulations without worker consent.
Kim Jong-un 'Wants Amicable Ties with S.Korea'
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month told Liu Yunshan, the Chinese Communist Party's fifth-ranked official, that he wants to "ease tensions and seek amicable relations with South Korea."
Liu on Wednesday reported the remark to a group of South Korean lawmakers who are visiting Beijing, according to Saenuri Party lawmaker Suh Chung-won, who heads the group.
Liu visited Pyongyang in October to attend the 70th anniversary of the North Korean Workers Party and met the North Korean leader.
Liu predicted that cross-border relations will improve but it will merely "take some time." He added that Beijing supports peace on the Korean Peninsula since that is beneficial for China as well.
Liu played down press speculation that Kim will visit China next year.
Suh quoted him as saying, "Only Chinese and North Korean media can be trusted with news about North Korea."
[NK SK policy]
Central Seoul protests - “It was like a war zone”
Posted on : Nov.16,2015 15:34 KST
Demonstrators use ropes to pull on police buses that were used as barricades, during a demonstration at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul, Nov. 14. The police set up three layers of barricades to keep protesters away from the Blue House. (by Kim Bong-kyu, staff photographer)
Demonstrators have criticized police for excessive response to anti-government gathering
During massive demonstrations on Nov. 14, to prevent demonstrators from reaching Gwanghwamun Plaza, the police fired multiple water cannons from all directions. From the onset, they aimed the high-pressure water cannons directly at the demonstrators. People who were hit by the water, which was mixed with capsaicin and coloring agents, were knocked to the ground or driven to the sides of the road as they coughed and wheezed.
The demonstrations were sparked by frustration with the South Korean government, led by President Park Geun-hye, over issues ranging from state-issued history textbooks to labor reform, from unemployment among the young to the soaring cost of rice, clashes occurred in various parts of Seoul as the police cracked down on the demonstrations.
Biggest protests in seven years shake central Seoul
Posted on : Nov.16,2015 15:30 KST
One farmer in critical condition and 51 detained after large show of displeasure with the sitting government
The largest demonstrations to take place in downtown Seoul in seven years gave voice to frustration with the obstinacy of the administration of President Park Geun-hye.
The police swung into action with a stern response using vehicle barricades and water cannons. During these operations, a farmer taking part in the demonstration collapsed after being hit directly by a water cannon. The farmer is currently in critical condition.
Responding to criticism that it responded to the demonstration with excessive force, the government called the demonstration “a grave challenge to government authority and to the legal order” and promised to mete out harsh punishments to offenders. In effect, the government tried to portray the demonstration as a threat to the country’s security.
Argentine wineries uncork Korean push
Argentine Ambassador to Korea Jorge Roballo speaks at the "Wines of Argentina Tasting Seoul 2015," hosted by Wines of Argentina and the Embassy of Argentina, at the Millennium Seoul Hiltonon on Nov. 9.
/ Courtesy of the Embassy of Argentina
By Rachel Lee
Argentina, one of the finest wine-making countries, wants to increase its presence in Korea.
At the "Wines of Argentina Tasting Seoul 2015," hosted by Wines of Argentina and the Embassy of Argentina, representatives from 28 wineries came to Korea, where their products remain unfamiliar.
Fightback in Korea
November 12, 2015
By Gregory Elich | November 12, 2015
Originally published in Counterpunch.
In a climate of increasing repression, the Park Geun-hye government in South Korea is launching the latest in its series of attacks on working people. A retrograde labor reform plan is being set in motion that promises to drive down wages and undermine job security. There is broad and determined resistance to the plan, and workers and farmers are taking the battle to the streets.
The labor reform essentially implements a wish list of measures long advocated by corporate leaders, who hope to see their profits soar as a result. “From the demand side, we should reduce the burden of businesses hiring workers by making the market more flexible,” argues Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan. (1) The envisioned “flexibility,” not surprisingly, is expected to be provided solely by workers.
One of the plan’s chief aims is to broaden the use of temporary labor. Among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, South Korea already ranks the highest in its reliance on temporary workers, who currently comprise over one-fifth of the workforce. (2) Temporary workers typically receive few or no benefits, and their wages amount to just two-thirds of their permanent counterparts. For part-time workers, the situation is more dire, with wages amounting to barely over half that received by permanent employees. (3) For obvious reasons, businesses are keen on expanding this arrangement to a wider segment of the workforce.
Religion believers from DPRK, South Korea meet for national reconciliation
English.news.cn 2015-11-10 19:26:59
PYONGYANG, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Religious people from the two Koreas met Monday and Tuesday in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in an effort to promote unity and reunification, said the official KCNA news agency.
Heads of various religious organizations from the DPRK and South Korea attended the meeting at Mt. Kumgang, voicing their support for inter-Korean joint declarations and their sincere implementation.
They also called on worshipers to take the lead in keeping a good atmosphere between the North and South and in promoting national reconciliation and unity.
Non-governmental exchanges between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea is gaining momentum after the military standoff along the border in late August was defused.
On Oct. 29, the two Koreas jointly held a workers' football match in Pyongyang, the first of its kind in eight years.
[Inter Korean] [Religion]
An inter-religious delegation visits North Korea
Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - A delegation of 150 religious leaders of different communities paid a visit to North Korea: during the short trip on 10 and 11 November, the leaders of seven major religions in South Korea, gathered under the aegis of "Korean Conference of Religions for Peace "(KCRP) and reached Mount Kumgang, where there is the well-known Buddhist temple Singyesa, founded in 519, and was destroyed during the Korean War (1950-1953) by American bombing and rebuilt in 2004 thanks to a project between the two Koreas. In this symbolic site the rare meetings between religious delegations from North and South are held.
The visit, informs the Conference in a note sent to Fides, had the aim to "pray together for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula". The event is "particularly significant", adds the KCRP, because for the first time the religious leaders of the two Koreas met since President Parco Geun-hye came to power in Seoul.
[Inter Korean] [Religion]
Richest Live Up to 15 Years Longer Than Poorest
The life expectancy of people in the top income bracket is an epic 15 years longer than among the poorest.
The life expectancy of people in the upper 20 percentile in terms of income from Seoul's affluent Seocho District is 86.2 years, while people in the lowest percentile in a remote village in Hwacheon, Gangwon Province expect to live 71 years.
Khang Young-ho at Seoul National University College of Medicine studied the relationship between life expectancy and income and on Tuesday presented his findings at the National Health Insurance Service.
Landmines: The Never-Ending War
by Olly Terry & Yang Subin of Seoul based NGO Peace Network
November 10, 2015
This essay was first published by Peace Network on October 22, 2015.
The recent landmine explosion on August 4th, that maimed two young South Korean soldiers, served as a stark reminder that the Korean War hasn’t formally ended. Landmines remain a prominent symbol of the lack of a peace treaty as the DMZ, that divides the Korean peninsula, remains one of the most heavily mined areas in the world. This essay implores the two Koreas and the US to unconditionally join the Ottawa Treaty, and for the South Korean government to establish a proper support system for civilian landmine victims.
Subin Yang recently received her B.A in International Studies with concentration in Asian Studies from Ewha Womans University, Seoul. She is currently an intern at Seoul based NGO Peace Network. Her interests are the interaction of women and militarism in East Asia.
Olly Terry is a research associate at Peace Network and has a Masters degree in International Politics and Human Rights from City University, London. His main research interests include North-South Korean relations, the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and North Korean defectors’ human rights.
N.Korea Snubs Calls for Talks
North Korea has ignored three proposals for talks from the South since officials from the two sides on Aug. 25 called for more contacts in the future.
Early talks were at the top of the six-point agreement reached in August.
"Back on Sept. 21, Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo proposed high-level talks to North Korean Workers Party secretary Kim Yang-gon, but Pyongyang didn't respond," a Unification Ministry official said.
Three days later Seoul sent a telephone message to Pyongyang calling for talks, and on Oct. 30, right after the latest round of reunions of families separated by the Korean War, Seoul proposed talks again for a third time.
This time Pyongyang refused to accept even a telephone message.
"It seems that the North is holding out for some kind of reward," Prof. Nam Sung-wook of Korea University speculated. "It looks as if the two Koreas have their own different goals. The North wants resumption of the package tours to Mt. Kumgang, while the South wants to discuss other issues."
[SK NK Negotiations]
China and Taiwan a model for inter-Korean cooperation
Posted on : Nov.9,2015 18:40 KST
Modified on : Nov.9,2015 18:40 KST
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping wave after holding the two countries’ first summit in 66 years, at the Shangrila Hotel in Singapore, Nov. 7. (EPA/Yonhap News)
The two sides had benchmarked Korea’s Sunshine Policy, and now surpassed the peninsula with extensive exchange
China and Taiwan’s summit in Singapore on Nov. 7, the first in the 66 years since the two sides broke apart, would not have been possible without years of results from interchange and cooperation. The vastly increased role of cross-strait relations in the Taiwanese economy has also had a major impact.
Indeed, Taiwan depends on the mainland for over 40% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Mainland China also accounts for 40% of Taiwan’s total exports. Forty percent of the tourists who visited Taiwan last year were from the mainland. More Taiwanese visit China than vice versa by a six-to-four margin, but the percentage of mainland Chinese visiting Taiwan has been growing rapidly. Around 840 flights each week traveled between the two sides in 2014, linking 54 cities on the mainland with ten in Taiwan. Some 80,000 Taiwanese companies have ventured into the mainland, with around two million Taiwanese residing there on a permanent basis. Chinese capital investments in Taiwan amounted to US$334.6 million in 2014, while Taiwanese investments in China totaled US$9.83 billion -- evidence that the mainland is seen in Taiwan as a “land of opportunity.”
How will state textbooks describe Park Chung-hee?
In a 1978 file photo, Park Geun-hye looks on as her father, then-President Park Chung-hee, practices calligraphy.
/ Korea Times file
By Do Je-hae
The government named some authors of the state history textbooks, Wednesday, without specifying who would be authoring modern and contemporary Korean history, arguably the most contentious segments in the new texts.
Many are wondering how the authors will describe the controversial figures that have shaped today's Korea, such as founding President Syngman Rhee (1875-1965) and President Park Chung-hee (1917-1979), assassinated by his intelligence chief after 18 years of dictatorial rule.
All eyes will be on how the texts portray the late Park, father of incumbent President Park Geun-hye, as some critics say that restoring her late father's reputation is a key factor in her decision to reinstate a state history textbook policy. The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) and other naysayers have raised suspicions that the President's unilateral push for history textbooks published by the government has an ulterior personal motive.
[Park Chung-hee] [Textbook]
Is the government’s next move designating official “state minds”?
Posted on : Nov.4,2015 17:10 KST
Government announces plan for state-issued textbooks, for the sake of the “precious children”
On November 3, 1929, students at Gwangju High School in South Jeolla Province staged a street demonstration that was the country’s biggest anti-Japanese campaign since the March 1 Independence Movement of 1919. The anniversary of that date was officially declared “Students’ Day” in 1953 under then-President Rhee Syng-man. It was later abolished by the Park Chung-hee administration in 1973, and it was not until 1984 that it returned as a national memorial day.
It was on Nov. 3 this year that the Park Geun-hye administration officially announced the introduction of a state issuance system for Korean history textbooks. While the pendulum of public opinion has clearly swung against the move regardless of political persuasion, the state textbooks are now sent to arrive before students in 2017 -- “for the children’s sake,” supporters argue. The announcement ushered in phase two in the state textbook wars with academics, educators, civil society, and the political opposition, which called it a “coup d’etat in the history classroom.”
PM’s claims about “pro-North Korea” textbooks fall flat
Posted on : Nov.4,2015 17:15 KST
Government-approved textbooks contain basic facts about N. Korea, which the government says amount to “glorification”
During a joint government briefing on Nov. 3 about plans to take control over the authorship of history textbooks, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said that “99.9% of schools selected textbooks that are alleged to be biased.” Hwang made an ideological attack reminiscent of McCarthyism, depicting all seven textbooks aside from the one produced by the Kyohak company as being left-leaning.
Hwang tried to find a rationale for the government plan in the “left-wing bias” of the current government-approved textbooks, using the word “bias” no less than 14 times during the briefing, which was only 15 minutes long. Nevertheless, most of his arguments fell flat, relying on sophistry and leaps of logic.
Questioning indubitable facts cited in books by scholars on the “New Right”
All three examples that Hwang cited of left-leaning bias in current state-approved textbooks are related to North Korea, but none of them show any actual bias toward the North. The first thing that Hwang mentioned was a passage from reading material included in a textbook by Doosan Dong A (“frequent skirmishes arose around the 38th parallel”).
“This sneaky passage suggests that the frequent skirmishes between North and South Korea around the 38th parallel were a direct cause of the Korean War. They create the incorrect impression that North Korea might not have been to blame for the war,” Hwang said.
[Korean War cause] [Textbook]
Apache helicopters for ROK Army rolled out
By Jun Ji-hye
AH-64E Apache Guardian advanced attack helicopters were unveiled in the United States, Monday, months before their delivery to the ROK Army, the Defense Acquisition Procurement Administration (DAPA) said Tuesday.
DAPA said Boeing, the manufacturer of the helicopters, held a rollout ceremony in Mesa, Arizona, attended by some 50 officials from the nation's arms procurement agency, Army and defense firms.
A total of 36 Apache Guardians will be delivered to the ROK Army beginning in the middle of next year after first being delivered to the U.S. Army, DAPA said.
South Korea selected the AH-64E in April 2013 in a 1.8 trillion won ($1.6 billion) procurement deal.
DAPA said the Guardian, the upgraded model of the AH-64D Longbow, is considered the best attack helicopter available with state-of-the-art fire control equipment, more powerful, fuel-efficient engines and improved systems for pilots' situational awareness and strikes on smaller targets.
"The Apache Guardian will significantly contribute to strengthening our military's combat readiness by replacing the aging helicopters now in operation," said Baek Yoon-hyeong, head of DAPA's aviation business team.
Return to ROK and Inter-Korean relations page