SOUTH KOREA - Signs First Trade Agreement with Israel

Arno Froese

South Korea is the first country in Asia with which Israel has a free trade agreement, and Israel is the first in the Middle East to sign such an agreement with Seoul. South Korea is the 12th-largest economy in the world and Israel’s third-largest trading partner in Asia.

The Foreign Ministry said the free trade agreement is expected to significantly increase trade between Israel and South Korea and give Israeli industry a competitive advantage, as well as lower the cost of Korean products imported to Israel.

The countries will also sign an agreement to double the budget of KORIL-RDF, a joint research and innovation fund for companies in Israel and South Korea.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said, “South Korea is one of Israel’s greatest trade partners in Asia and has the greatest potential. Our visit comes at the end of years of hard work... to promote a free trade agreement that will strengthen Israel’s economy and reduce the cost of living in Israel.”

“Increasing and broadening exports are part of the significant engines of growth for the Israeli economy, which will help us get out of the coronavirus crisis,” said Economy Minister Amir Peretz. “I hope our citizens will enjoy lower prices on cars, cell phones and other products arriving from Korea.”, 9 May 2021

Arno's Commentary

Super-successful South Korea is the first in Asia to sign a free trade agreement with Israel. Needless to say, this will be extremely beneficial for both countries, since South Korea has to deal with an unfriendly neighbor: North Korea. Israel too has many unfriendly neighbors: Lebanon, Syria, and beyond, Iran, who continually threatens Israel with destruction. South Korea has achieved an excellent report card regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Only 36 per 1 million in population have died, while Israel has recorded 704 (USA: 1,764).

There is no doubt that Israel’s future not only concerns the West, but also the East.

We take this opportunity to explain our understanding relating to Revelation. In general, Bible scholars and well-versed prophetic teachers see an Asian invasion of Israel, emphasizing chapter 9, verse 14, and confirming this with Revelation 16:12: “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” Our understanding is that this is a diabolical identity. When reading chapter 9, it becomes self-evident that these are creatures out of this world.

After the sixth angel pours out his vial upon the River Euphrates, it is assumed that this opens the way for the kings of the east on their way to Israel. That, however, does not add up, because the armies described are gathered from “the kings of the earth and of the whole world.” Who are they to fight against? God almighty. Earthly identities are unable to do so. This is the battle of Armageddon, the ultimate confrontation between the Victor and the deceiver. Revelation 17 reveals: “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them” (verse 14a). No earthly power can “make war with the Lamb.”

While the free trade agreement between South Korea and Israel has no direct prophetic relation, we note this development and, incidentally, other nations gathering together for the same purpose: merchandise. That is happening globally; no country is exempt. The Bible says “the prince of the power of the air” is in control of planet earth. Why? Because, “He that committeth sin is of the devil” (1 John 3:8a). But there is one escape, and that is our surrender to the One who is the real Victor—confessing our shortcomings and accepting Him as the supreme, eternal Ruler of our life here, now, and for all eternity.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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