PKM-Patrol Killer Medium (photo : Geocities)
Three retired patrol ships that cost the Korean military US$4-5 million at the time of their purchase have been sold to Kazakhstan for a symbolic sum of US$300.
To promote military cooperation between our two countries and to aid Kazakhstan in the establishment of naval forces, we will hand over three PKM (Patrol Killer Medium) ships, which were retired in 2004, next month, and we have already received payment of $100 dollars each, the Navy said Monday.
PKM for the Philippine Navy (photo : Navier)
Korea charges the symbolic sum for retired equipment on the assumption that the sale opens export avenues for Korea's defense industry and leads to closer military ties. Since 1993, the Navy has handed over 18 retired patrol boats and eight F-5 fighters to the Philippines for $100 each. It is also looking at selling old fighter F-5A/Bs to Mexico and Poland.
Kazakhstan, with its rich deposits of natural resources, is building a Navy to protect its oil fields. Ties between Korea and Kazakhstan developed after Kazakhstan's Deputy Minister of Defense Maj. Gen. Bolat Sembinov proposed benchmarking the Korean Navy in building his country own and visited the country in July 2004, when he toured Navy facilities here.
The patrol boats defended Korean waters and ports for 25 years after their deployment between 1980 and 1981. In preparation for the handover, a 30-member Kazakh team has been trained in the operation of the boats at Jinhae Navy Operation Command since Feb. 13.