U.S. Navy secretary touts S. Korea’s shipbuilding capabilities

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro has noted South Korea's capabilities to build high-quality ships, including warships, in a cost-effective way while voicing concerns that America's shipbuilding capabilities have "atrophied" over the past decades. Toro made the remarks during an event organized by the Navy League in Maryland on Tuesday, stressing the need to reverse the United States' underinvestment in modernization and industrial capacity. "Our Korean and Japanese allies build high-quality ships, including Aegis destroyers, for a fraction of the cost that we do," he said, according to a transcript from the Navy's website. He shared his experience from a tour of South Korean shipbuilding facilities earlier this year. "When my team and I went to South Korea, we were floored at the level of digitization and real-time monitoring of shipbuilding progress, with readily available information down to individual pieces of stock materials," he said. "Their top executives could tell us -- to the day -- when ships would be delivered. It's an ethos, a commitment to constant improvement that is the foundation of their reputation for consistently delivering on time, on budget -- even during COVID." Toro lamented America's shipbuilding approach, calling it "inadequate" and "inefficient." "This is an inefficient approach, requiring far too much time, workforce and taxpayers' dollars," he said. "And it is certainly an approach that is wholly inadequate to pace our 21st-century competitors." The secretary stressed that the daunting challenges the U.S. faces are an "opportunity" to partner with shipbuilders in the U.S. and with "our closest allies abroad." "We have an opportunity to attract the most advanced shipbuilders in the world to open U.S.-owned subsidiaries and invest in commercial shipyards here at home," he said. "This will allow us to modernize and expand our shipbuilding industrial capacity, creating good-paying "new-collar" American jobs that come with a healthier, more competitive shipbuilding wor kforce." Source: Yonhap News Agency

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