The United States Department of State approved the potential sale of F-35 fighter jets and related equipment to South Korea, at an estimated cost of 5.06 billion US dollars, according to a statement on Wednesday (13/9 /2023).
Congress has been notified of the sale of 25 of the jets, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. “The proposed sale will enhance the Republic of Korea’s capabilities to meet current and future threats.
“By providing a credible defense capability for South Korea, it is able to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with US forces,” the statement said.
It said the sale would add to Seoul’s inventory of operational aircraft and improve its air-to-air and air-to-ground defense capabilities. “South Korea already has F-35s in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing these goods and services into its armed forces,” he added.
The sale comes amid North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches in violation of UN sanctions and Kim Jong-un’s visit to Russia.