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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

S Korea's defense exports hit record high last year

South Korea's defense exports in 2009jumped 13 percent to a record high of 1.17 billion U.S. dollars, helped by the government support and more companies breaking into overseas market, an arms procurement agency said Tuesday.

The record-high sales are slightly short of the original goal of 1.2 billion U.S. dollars but is still a major achievement considering the global economic downturn, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.

The sales were also boosted by diversification of the defense items, with many small firms, whose number local media say stands at 104, entering the industry and faring well, according to the agency.

South Korea, whose main arms export items include aircraft parts and submarine systems, is eyeing to increase its weapons sales to 1.5 billion U.S. dollars this year, a possible 28 percent year-on-year increase, the agency said.

The agency has previously said main buyers of the country's defense items include the United States, Germany and Indonesia.

South Korea has said it aims to become one of the top 10 countries weapons exporters by 2012. (Source Xinhua)