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Top diplomats of S. Korea, Indonesia agree to continue cooperation on delayed fighter jet project

By Yonhap

Published : March 18, 2024 - 20:00

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Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul (right) and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, pose for a photo prior to their talks on March 18, 2024, in this photo provided by Cho's office. (Yonhap) Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul (right) and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, pose for a photo prior to their talks on March 18, 2024, in this photo provided by Cho's office. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, March 18 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and Indonesia reaffirmed their commitment to work on the joint development of the KF-21 fighter jet delayed due to Jakarta's suspended payment, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday.

The discussions between Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, were held earlier in the day on the margins of the third Summit for Democracy hosted by South Korea.

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

Jakarta has been inconsistent in its commitment and had held off on payments for nearly two years. It is estimated to have only paid about 278 billion won so far, with almost 1 trillion won in arrears.

The police have also launched an investigation into an Indonesian engineer's alleged attempt to steal technologies related to the project last month.

During their talks, Cho also expressed his condolences over a capsizing incident of a fishing boat carrying seven Indonesians that left three crewmembers dead and four missing.