Germany to Confer "NATO" Status on South Korea for Defense, Dual-use Goods Export

  • Bureau
  • 07:22 AM, August 2, 2023
  • 696
Germany to Confer
South Korean K9 Thunder

South Korea would not have to receive approval from Germany’s Office for Economic Affairs and Exports (BAFA) if Berlin confers a NATO-like status to the country.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said it is planning to “quickly” obtain the nod from German Federal Ministry of Economic and Climate Protection (BMWK). Importing German-made components and exporting weapons to the country is presently put through rigorous examination.

Due to changes in the security situation in Europe following the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, companies are able to obtain export approval only after 6-12 months have elapsed after applying to the German government.

However, from September 1, 2023, the export approval process for exports to Korea is expected to be greatly simplified.

“The procedure is the same as the standards applied to countries such as the EU/NATO, which means that Korea is considered a country equivalent to NATO in terms of country classification under the German Arms Export Control Regulations,” the DAPA said in a release.

As the German government's action facilitates the introduction of German parts, it is expected that the timely deployment of the Korean military and the entry of Korean and German defense companies into the global defense market will be activated.

The German government's move can be seen as a result of its summit diplomacy efforts to strengthen NATO cooperation. Since taking office, President Seok-yeol Yoon has attended two NATO summits as a partner country, and at the NATO summit held in Lithuania in July of this year, he emphasized that “we who share values ​​must solidify and cooperate more firmly.” In other words, the ROK government's efforts to expand cooperation by recognizing NATO as an important security partner led to trustworthy measures by its allies.

In the meantime, the Korean government has emphasized the need for cooperation in security policies through mutual partnership with NATO countries in the midst of a global crisis, and the DAPA has cooperated with the German Embassy in Germany since 2021 to work with the German Ministry of Economic and Climate Protection (BMWK) and the Economic Export Supervisory Service (BAFA) and has been actively conducting working-level consultations to simplify export approval.

DAPA said it will spare no effort to strengthen national defense and foster a global defense industry powerhouse through close communication and pan-governmental cooperation with countries that are in the process of defense industry cooperation.

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