The agreement concluded by Warsaw and Seoul for the purchase of military equipment puts other European defense projects in the shadow: Poland will thus acquire over 1,000 tanks, 648 self-propelled howitzers and 48 FA-50 fighters, and the construction of production plants in Poland will also be added – the daily Welt “and notes that Seoul is becoming the most important Asian investor in Poland.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak signed in July with South Korea. a framework agreement worth one billion euros, and President Andrzej Duda spoke of the great trust resulting from economic and political cooperation between the two countries – reminds “Welt” and emphasizes that “Poland, which has handed over a large part of its weapons systems to the Ukrainian army, is arming like no other NATO country“.
“Many foreign observers are surprised that the government in Warsaw has acquired South Korea as a long-term partner, because this Far East country is not a NATO member. (…) Polish experts are not surprised by this choice,” added Welt. Reminds that South Korea is already one of Poland’s closest partners in terms of industry and security policy, and “the arms agreement is just a symbol of a relationship that has developed over the years, which is becoming more and more obvious and will not be without consequences for the rest of the EU.“.
The now 50-million-strong South Korea, once marked by war, has become one of the leading economic powers in just a few decades, currently ranking 12th on the list of the world’s largest economies, and companies such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG are world leaders in industry and technology .
“Polish politicians see similarities between their country and the Republic of Korea. Large areas of Poland were destroyed during World War II. After the war, the People’s Republic of Poland was part of the so-called Eastern Bloc, dominated by the Soviet Union and largely cut off from the West,” notes Welt. After 1989, Poland started catching up, becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world from the mid-1990s.
Another reason that brought Warsaw and Seoul closer together is the “feeling of living in a dangerous neighborhood”. “Polish warnings against Russia’s aggression before February 24, 2022 were often dismissed in Brussels or Berlin as exaggerated. Korea treated them with understanding, having long been threatened by its nuclear-armed neighbor North Korea, “notes Welt.
After signing the declaration on strategic partnership in 2013, Seoul has become the most important Asian investor in Poland, surpassing even China, a global power. Samsung has branches in Poland, in Warsaw it has the largest research and development center outside South Korea. South Korea (with the help of the USA) is also to help Poland enter the nuclear energy sector.
“South Korea aims to make Poland a center of investments and a kind of hub for its own industry on the European market. For large European companies, especially for the German arms and automotive industries, this creates real competition” – notes “Welt”.