Air Force Chief to Visit Turkey, Indonesia for Arms Sales Diplomacy

Gen. Lee Wang-keun, South Korea’s Air Force chief of staff, in a file photo (Yonhap).

Seoul, MINA – South Korea’s top Air Force commander will soon visit Turkey and Indonesia to promote mutual defense cooperation and support Seoul’s arms exports, Yonhap reported, quoting his unit Wednesday.

The two countries have long maintained military partnerships with South Korea.

Gen. Lee Wang-keun, the Air Force chief of staff, plans to leave for Turkey later in the day. He will meet there with Gen. Hulusi Akar, the chief of the Turkish General Staff, and Gen. Hasan Kucukakyuz, the top Air Force commander, on Thursday.

Lee will collect opinions on South Korea-made KT-1 basic trainer jets exported to Turkey beginning in 2010 and discuss its request for Turkish pilots to train in South Korea, the Air Force said.

Turkey, often called a brother country of South Korea for dispatching troops to the 1950-53 Korean War, is a potential buyer of the T-50 supersonic trainer jet as well.

Lee will then fly to Indonesia for talks with his counterpart Hadi Tjahjanto on future defense industry cooperation next Monday. Indonesia has introduced T-50s and teamed up with South Korea for its KF-X advanced fighter jet development program.

“Gen. Lee plans to actively publicize the superiority of South Korea’s indigenous aircraft, including T-50s, in the two nations,” the Air Force said.

Lee is to return home next Wednesday. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)