New Chief For South Korea’s DAPA

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SEOUL:South Korea’s President—Yoon Suk Yeol has elected a former Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) major general—Seok Jong-Gun to head the country’s arms procurement agency, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). In a release from the Blue House, it stated that “based on his expertise in military fighting power systems and remarkable coordination and command abilities, Seok is the right person to simultaneously build a cooperation system between the defence ministry, the military, DAPA and defence companies, and lead the fostering of a powerful military based on science and technology and vitalisation of arms exports.” 

Upon taking office, Commissioner Seok vowed to expedite materiel procurement in order to shore up the capabilities of the ROK Armed Forces in the face of North Korean threats. “It is important to swiftly and efficiently acquire weapons to support the overwhelming augmentation of military capabilities,” the commissioner said at DAPA office in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. He further added that DAPA would reform the acquisition system in order for ‘swift and flexible’ acquisition of latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, unmanned drones, as well as the space and cyber domains. Additionally, he promised his support for the export of South Korean-made military hardware to realise the country’s objective of becoming the fourth-largest defence exporter by 2027. “We will diversify financial support measures for arms exports and deepen international cooperation in major markets to provide a wide range of policy support measures,” he said. shp/adj/dl (Pix:Defense Acquisition Program Administration)