September 03, 2010 11:45
The U.S. administration has vetoed the Korean government's plan to sell some 100,000 old M1 rifles used during the Korean War back to the United States. It also banned 850,000 M1 rifles already imported from Korea and other countries from being sold to civilians.
In order to save some W300 million (US$1=W1,181) on storing old weaponry a year, the Korean government decided to sell the 86,000 M1 Garands and 22,000 M1 Carbines to the U.S. and repeatedly asked Washington to approve the deal. The expected price was W130 billion in total, with one M1 Garand fetching US$220 and a M1 Carbine US$140. But the U.S. objected to the plan fearing that they could land in the hands of terrorists.
A Korean government official said, "It's difficult to understand why the U.S. opposes the deal now, when we already shipped tens of thousands of these firearms to the U.S. in the early 1990s. We are trying to grasp the real underlying cause of this reversal through diplomatic channels." He added that because these firearms were originally made in the U.S., selling them back needs approval from Washington.
A U.S. State Department spokesman told Fox News on Wednesday, "The transfer of such a large number of weapons... could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes."
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com