Contracts were signed to supply tanks and howitzers to Poland that had been announced at the NATO summit in Madrid. But at the same time, through Russia’s Rosatom, the Korean industry obtained the subcontract for the El Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt. President Yoon wants the country to be awarded at least 10 new nuclear power plant projects by 2030.
Seoul () – Since his first international appearance at the NATO summit, which took place in Madrid last June, it has been clear that President Yoon Suk-yeol would try to give new boost to the export of nuclear reactors and military equipment from South Korea. On that occasion Choi Sang-mok, a member of Yoon’s team, announced to the press that “this is the beginning of sales diplomacy at the top of new export-oriented industries.” In Madrid, the South Koreans had met with numerous European counterparts interested in acquiring the technologies offered by Seoul. “We started with nuclear power and the defense industry, but the list will grow in the next five years,” Choi said.
We did not have to wait long for the first orders to arrive. On Saturday, the Seoul Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced that Poland had signed contracts worth 5,760 million dollars with two South Korean companies, Hyundai Rotem and Hanwha Defense, which will supply Warsaw with tanks and howitzers. The sale deal was closed last month and would be the largest order for military supplies South Korea has ever received. In fact, as the parties involved have not yet communicated the true volume of the agreement, some rumors claim that the total value could be even higher from what has been reported and to be around 15 billion dollars. The Aofficial nuncio should be done today.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Warsaw began a plan to modernize its armed forces. Last month the Polish defense minister said in an interview that South Korean suppliers had numerous advantages over the competition, including in terms of delivery speed and industrial production. From this point of view, Poland has found a partner that is very willing to meet its demands. Indeed, Yoon has repeatedly expressed her intention to contribute more actively to Europe’s security based on a common heritage of values, and her participation in the NATO summit in Madrid was also a sign in this regard. .
Of apparently opposite sign is the agreement reached by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, controlled by the state-owned company KEPCO, with Rosatom subsidiary Atomstroyexport. The subcontract agreement that was signed last Thursday, worth 2.2 billion dollars, contemplates that the South Korean company supplies materials and builds four units of the Egyptian El Dabaa nuclear power plant, which the Cairo government had commissioned from the energy giant. in 2017. The Seoul government stated that cooperation with Rosatom should not lead to no complication. “Russia is subject to sanctions,” said the Ministry of Industry and Energy, “but Rosatom is not on the sanction list, so we should have no problem getting paid.”
Last week’s agreement is a continuation of the preliminary one that was signed in December last year. However, the authorities of South Korea consulted first with the Americans, and Washington reportedly acknowledged that Seoul’s position does not conflict with the policy of pressure against Moscow. For South Korea, this is the first contract to export its nuclear technology in more than a decade, and Yoon’s goal is to win at least 10 projects by 2030.