Romania to purchase South Korea's K-9 howitzers worth $920 million

South Korea’s race to become one of the world’s biggest arms dealers

SEOUL (Reuters) - Romania will buy $920 million worth of South Korea's K-9 self-propelled howitzers, in its largest weapon acquisition in seven years, Seoul's defence ministry said on Wednesday.

The deal was announced in a meeting between South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik and his Romanian counterpart Angel Tilvar, during Shin's visit to the Eastern European country.

Shin and Tilvar agreed that military cooperation between Russia and North Korea threatens the security of Europe and Asia, and close cooperation with the international community in responding to the matter was necessary.

In April, South Korean and Romanian leaders held a summit and pledged to boost defence industry cooperation.

Romania's decision to purchase K-9 howitzers, following in the footsteps of Poland, will expand the footprint of South Korea's defence industry in Europe, Seoul's defence ministry said on Wednesday.

South Korea is working to establish itself as the world's fourth-largest arms exporter.

Shin is set to head to Poland for a three-day trip later on Wednesday, where he will meet Polish Defence Minister and deputy Prime Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz and discuss defence and arms industry cooperation.

(Reporting by Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)