US agrees to sell $600M in air-defense missiles to Japan and S. Korea

A member of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force guards a Patriot missile-defense system at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017.


By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 21, 2019

The U.S. State Department has approved more than $600 million in air-defense missile sales to South Korea and Japan, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The approvals were announced in statements by the agency May 17 following a pair of missile tests by North Korea a week earlier. Efforts by the United States and North Korea to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula have moved slowly despite two summit meetings between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un since 2018.

“The Government of Japan has requested to buy one hundred sixty (160) AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and one (1) AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

The cost, including various support services, is estimated at $317 million, the agency said.

South Korea has asked to buy up to 94 rounds of SM-2 Block IIIB Standard Missiles and 12 MK 97 MOD 0 Guidance Sections for the missiles. The estimated cost with support services is $313.9 million, the agency said.

A spokesman from South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, who asked not to be identified, confirmed the purchase plan.

Officials from Japan’s Ministry of Defense said the figures quoted were for possible purchases rather than actual procurement.

Stars and Stripes reporters Hana Kusumoto and Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.

Twitter: @SethRobson1


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