Korea was the world's third-largest arms importer over the last five years. According to the "2011 Global Defense Industry Almanac" published by the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality on Wednesday, Korea imported US$7.43 billion worth of weapons between 2006 and 2010.
The country imported $1.75 billion worth of arms in 2006, $1.84 billion in 2007, $1.8 billion in 2008, $886 million in 2009 and $1.13 billion in 2010. Part of the reason for the huge amount between 2006 and 2008 is the military modernization program pursued by the Roh Moo-hyun administration.
At the time, the government began procurement and development projects to equip the military with Aegis destroyer ships, next-generation fighter jets, precision-guided missiles and Patriot missile systems.
But a string of postponements in major arms purchases between 2009 and 2010 under the Lee Myung-bak administration led to a drop in arms imports.