Defence Policy

President of South Korea Visits Poland to Discuss Defence Collaboration

President Duda meeting his South Korean counterpart, NATO Summit in Madrid, 2022.
Photo. Marek Borawski/KPRP

Yoon Suk Yeol, the Korean President, has scheduled a visit to Poland. Defence cooperation of both nations would be one of the key issues both heads of state would be discussing.

Yoon Suk Yeol will travel to Poland directly from the NATO Summit in Vilnius. Interestingly, President Duda and Yoon Suk Yeol already had an opportunity to speak, during the last year's NATO summit, organized in Madrid, in June last year.

Seoul has been tightening its cooperation with NATO for quite some time now. Before leaving for Europe, Yoon Suk Yeol was placing a major emphasis on the threat posed by the North Korean WMD development programme.

However, the South Korean leader is also planning to visit Poland this year, apart from attending the NATO summit. It would last 3 days, from 12th July, until 14th July. The group of South Korean delegates will also include numerous representatives of the defence industry, including the Hanwha Group Vice-President, Kim Dong-kwan. Hanwha Aerospace, a part of the Hanwha Group, is a manufacturer of the K9 howitzers and K239 Chunmoo MLRS systems, procured by the Polish Ministry of Defence.

Tightening of defence cooperation between Poland and South Korea would be one of the key issues to be discussed during the talks. Warsaw decided to make a major defence procurement in Korea back in 2022 - this includes K2/K2PL main battle tanks (180 ordered within the framework of a performance agreement, and 1,000 in total covered by a framework agreement), K9A1/K9PL howitzers (212 ordered within the framework of a performance agreement, and 672 in total covered by a framework agreement), 48 FA-50/FA-50PL jets, and K239 Chunmoo MLRS (218 ordered within the framework of a performance agreement, and 290 in total covered by a framework agreement).

Each of the aforesaid systems comes with a logistics support and training bundle, while the equipment for the land forces (K2, K9, Chunmoo) would be delivered with a major quantity of munitions. Transfer of technologies, and domestic manufacturing in Poland are expected at further stages of the implementation of the framework agreements. Probably that would be one of the matters expected to be discussed by the Presidents of Poland and Korea.

Since last year, the authorities of both nations have been making declarations on their willingness to expand the strategic partnership extending beyond the defence industry - as the allies of the United States, located in two key, yet threatened regions of the world.