BMI View: North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles represents a persistent,increasingly belligerent and direct threat to South Korea. In the face of this, South Korea will continue toinvest considerably into strengthening its defence posture - namely its counter strike, reconnaissance andintelligence capabilities - providing opportunities for multinational defence companies. Although thedomestic sector lacks the ability to satisfy the more advanced requirements of the South Korean armedforces, its export potential has, and will, continue to increase, driven by government support and close tieswith the US and other regional players. However, we highlight domestic structural issues as a downsiderisk to our forecasts. Although the country's economic outlook remains sound for the time being, over thelong term, these issues will - if not addressed - act as a drag on defence expenditure growth.
In May, the US Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, that was recentlydeployed to South Korea, reached initial operational capability.
Also in May, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) introduced guidelinesto regulate the use of procurement agents by foreign suppliers in a move intended to improvetransparency. The directive will require foreign suppliers to use only pre-registered and approved agentsin transactions supporting defence sales or R&D programmes.