Iraqi defense minister sees South Korea as 'a model to follow'
BAGHDAD — Iraq and South Korea are exploring defense
cooperation, including joint production.
Officials said an Iraqi Defense Ministry delegation is considering
prospects for military procurement as well as joint defense projects with
South Korea, Middle East Newsline reported. The delegation, led by Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader Al
Obeidi, has been briefed on South Korea's defense technology and toured
"The South Korean military is a model to follow because it has achieved
modernization from a zero point," Al Obeidi said.
In mid-January, Al Obeidi visited Seoul and held talks with his South
Korean counterpart, See Sang-hee. South Korea was a participant in the
U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and withdrew its 3,600 troops in December 2008.
"I know very well that South Korea possesses leading technology in the
defense area," Al Obeidi said.
Officials said South Korea has briefed Iraq on Seoul's joint defense
projects in Turkey. South Korean companies have been working with Ankara to
develop a main battle tank, air trainer and other military platforms.
Al Obeidi, who toured an automobile plant in South Korea on Jan. 15, has
expressed interest in similar projects. Officials said one project was for
the assembly of armored vehicles in Iraq.
"One of the reasons I came to South Korea was to inspect an automobile
plant," Al Obeidi said.