Swedish think tank: South Korea's arms sales record high

AP News
Posted: Dec 11, 2017 11:34 AM

HELSINKI (AP) — A Swedish think tank says South Korea's arms sales hit record levels last year, pushed by the continuous military threat from North Korea, complicated relations with China and a government decision to increase domestic arms production.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, said Monday that arms sales by South Korean companies in 2016 stood at $8.4 billion, up 21 percent from the previous year.

SIPRI researcher Aude Fleurant said Seoul has been developing its own arms production since the 1970s to reduce dependency on foreign suppliers because of "threat perception in the region," and the results are now being seen.

The report said said the world's 100 biggest armaments groups sold weapons and weapons systems worth $375 billion in 2016, up 2 percent from 2015.