Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 38

South Korean military sources indicated yesterday that Seoul is considering the purchase of Russian-made S-300 ground-to-air missile defense systems. The S-300 has been touted by Moscow as superior to the U.S. Patriot missile, which was used with great fanfare during the Gulf War. South Korean officials said that the S-300 is cheaper by one third than its American competitor and that they believe it to be equal in effectiveness. Consideration of the S-300 may also represent an attempt by Seoul to diversify its arms purchases; it currently relies almost entirely on the United States. It is unclear when Moscow first deployed the S-300, which is produced in several different versions, but it was first offered for sale in 1992. South Korea has already agreed to import advanced Russian weaponry as partial repayment for the $1.47 billion debt owed South Korea by Russia, and apparently views the S-300 as a possible component in the multi-billion dollar air defense system that it is building to counter potential North Korean missile attacks. (3)

Yeltsin Sacks Head of Diamond Industry.