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Indonesia, South Korea agree to resume cooperation on KF-21 fighter jets development

Tempo - February 23, 2024

Yonhap News and Nabiila Azzahra, Jakarta – Indonesia and South Korea have agreed to continue to work on the joint development of the KF-21 fighter jet, a project delayed due to Jakarta's suspended payment for its share, according to the discussion between Indonesia's Retno Marsudi and South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

The discussion took place when they met one-on-one on the margins of the foreign ministers' G20 meeting in Rio de Janeiro, the ministry said in a release.

The two ministers "agreed to continue cooperation so that the strategic cooperation projects between the two countries, including the joint fighter jet development and South Korea's participation in Indonesia's 'electric car ecosystem establishment' proceed smoothly and achieve results," the South Korean ministry said.

Indonesia has agreed to shoulder about 20 percent of the US$6.07 billion, or 8.1 trillion won (Rp94 trillion) project, launched in 2015, to develop the KF-21 fighter jet, through 2026. In return, Indonesia will be receiving one prototype and technology transfer, and producing 48 units in the country.

Indonesia had held off on the payments for nearly two years, as reported by South Korea's Yonhap news agency. It is estimated to have only paid about 278 billion won (Rp3.2 trillion) so far, with almost 1 billion won (Rp11 billion) in arrears.

They also agreed to work together on revising Indonesia's import quota and the bilateral double taxation avoidance agreement as part of efforts to offer a better business investment environment for South Korean companies.

The project was also tainted by the alleged attempt to steal technologies by an Indonesian engineer. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has made a police investigation request.

The engineer was caught last month attempting to take a USB storage device with data on the KF-21 fighter jet and has been banned from leaving South Korea.

With DAPA's request on Thursday, police officials are expected to look into whether the data included military secrets or other technology in violation of the Defense Technology Security Act.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry said that the government is still verifying the allegation with South Korea through the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul, said ministry spokesperson Lalu Muhammad Iqbal to Tempo on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1836919/indonesia-south-korea-agree-to-resume-cooperation-on-kf-21-fighter-jets-developmen