US signs security deal with S. Korea to rapidly supply defense resources

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : November 17, 2023, 10:40 Updated : November 20, 2023, 07:57
Courtesy of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration
[Courtesy of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration]
SEOUL -- The United States defense department has signed a supply deal with South Korea’s arms procurement agency to provide defense products upon request by South Korea promptly. South Korea is the 16th country to sign the "Security of Supply Agreement."

The supply contract is designed to offer reciprocal priorities for U.S. allies. The discussion for the Security of Supply Agreement (SOSA) with South Korea began in March 2023 at an annual conference in Washington D.C. Other nations that signed SOSA with the U.S. include Canada, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Israel.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement the South Korean agency signed the SOSA. The arms procurement organization predicted that the partnership would help South Korea establish a stable defense supply chain. "As we signed the reciprocal arrangement SOSA this year which marks the 70th anniversary of ROK-US alliance, we showed that the ROK-US relationship is advancing toward a global comprehensive strategic alliance," DAPA Minister Eom Dong-hwan said in a statement on November 17.

"This Security of Supply Arrangement represents another important step forward in the seven-decade defense relationship between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, strengthening the resiliency and security of our national defense programs and furthering opportunity for future, long-term collaboration," said William A. LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

At the March conference, the two nations also discussed the U.S. Defense Department's foreign comparative testing program, which demonstrates various items and technologies of U.S. allies to see if the U.S. armed forces could adopt them. In October 2022, Arion-SMET, a South Korean multi-purpose unmanned ground vehicle, was selected for the testing program. The vehicle weighing six tons was built primarily for assisting infantry operations such as transporting munition and weapons and evacuating the wounded. It has a total of six wheels. 
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