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US hails 'new era' in ties to Seoul with arms sales

Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger has proclaimed a "new era" in US-South Korean relations, to be marked in part by a major arms deal between the United States and its Pacific ally. Mr. Weinberger sounded the upbeat note at the opening session of a 13th annual bilateral security conference that brought together the top-ranking defense officials of both nations.

This week the administration announced the sale of 36 sophisticated F-16 fighters to Korea for $1 billion. Weinberger added to the arms package the Stinger defense sy stem, a 34-pound, hand-held antiaircraft missile, as well as M-88 tank retrievers and 1,000 M-55-1 light tanks.

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