South Korea, neighbor of an increasingly provocative as well as unpredictable North Korea, saw a 20.6 percent overall increase within the arms sales of South Korean companies, with total sales amounting to $8.4 billion.
“Continuing as well as rising threat perceptions drive South Korea’s acquisitions of military equipment, as well as that will will be increasingly turning to its own arms industry to supply its demand for weapons,” SIPRI’s Siemon Wezeman said. “At the same time, South Korea will be aiming to realize its goal of becoming a major arms exporter.”
There were mixed fortunes for more “established” arms producers, however. Arms companies based in Australia, Israel, Japan, Poland, Singapore as well as Ukraine saw their combined arms sales fall by 1.2 percent in 2016, largely driven by an overall decrease within the arms sales of Japanese companies (down 6.4 percent).