Estonia's planned purchase of six K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers from South Korea could get delayed with the country's defense minister cancelling his visit to Seoul reportedly over novel coronavirus (COVID-19) fears.
Estonian Minister of Defense, Jüri Luik, was to visit Seoul last month. The K-9 procurement project under which Estonia was to buy six K-9s in addition to 12 ordered in 2018, was one of the agendas behind his travel.
"But the minister cancelled the trip, citing health issues," sources were quoted as saying by Yonhap on March 14. However, many speculate that the abrupt cancellation was related to COVID-19.
"I don't believe the virus situation would affect Estonia's plan to buy them, but related procedures could be postponed," a source said.
As of Monday, South Korea had 8,200 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, including 75 deaths.