Go to contents

Gas Mask Supply Contract Terminated

Posted June. 05, 2006 03:16,   


In the wake of the suspension of gas mask supplies against chemical warfare, the Korean military is trying to come up with emergency measure.

According to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) yesterday, “S” company that has been providing the Ministry of National Defense (MND) with K-1 gas marks starting the early 1980s was declared as an “unsuitable corporation” by a court on June 1 and was denied the right to make a bid for gas mask supply for the next 20 months.

For this reason, supplying a total of 30,000 K-1 gas masks needed to the military will be delayed and the military will be hampered in its efforts to secure gas masks for several months to come.

Under the relevant law, a company can exclusively provide the MND with military gas masks, a designated item of military supply, for a long time through private contracts, and the “S” company has delivered hundreds of thousands of K-1 gas masks to the military.

“S,” however, was caught supplying 25 districts in Seoul with 134,000 substandard gas masks incapable of filtering hazardous gases in 2004.

Hit by a series of scandals involving poor quality and supply, “S” was declared by the government as an improper firm to do business with last June, but asked the court to delay the ruling. However, the court rejected its request on June 1 and “S” was declared as an “unsuitable company.”

Against this backdrop, the DAPA is considering selecting another private company as a supplier or reclassifying K-1 gas masks from military goods to general supplies and buying them by holding a bidding competition.

However, the DAPA has to inspect a supplier’s production capacity and facility and designate it a defense industry, so the suspension of gas mask supplying will continue for several months.

A military official said, “A series of defects were found in gas masks made by “S.” Quality tests should be in place as gas masks are directly related to the lives of soldiers in the event of an emergency situation.”

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com