Friday, September 15, 2023

South Korea Spends Billions on F-35s, Turkish Drones as Russia Props Up Pyongyang

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday approved a $5 billion sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets to South Korea, a week after South Korean and Turkish presidents Yoon Suk-yeol and Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed plans for Seoul to invest heavily in Turkish drone technology.

The State Department notified Congress that South Korea’s F-35 purchase was approved on the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin met North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to discuss closer cooperation between the two militaristic authoritarian regimes.

Although neither government has confirmed it yet, Russia is widely expected to buy stockpiles of old Soviet munitions from North Korea to resupply its invasion force in Ukraine. Kim expressed great interest in Russian satellite technology, which would help North Korea jump-start its faltering satellite launch program – and greatly improve its long-range ballistic missiles. READ MORE