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Seoul cannot be negligent despite the end of military standoff

Seoul cannot be negligent despite the end of military standoff

Posted August. 26, 2015 07:18,   


The "Hyeongung," which the military planned to deploy at the Army next year calling it an anti-military tank missile that can destroy all types of armed tanks the North Korean military owns, is found to be embroiled in a corruption case of defense procurement programs. The governmental joint government investigation team for irregularities in defense procurement programs discovered circumstantial evidence suggesting that despite problems in some of equipment for testing performance found in the process to introduce the "Hyeongung," the authority gave approval, and raided and searched the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and LIG NexOne on Tuesday.

The Hyeongung, which ADD was in charge of development and LIG NexOne in production, is a third-generation missile that strikes the target by tracing heat images through guided flight after the guided missile is fired. ADD received delivery and inspected internal damage gauging equipment and automatic driving modules for armed talks worth a total of 8.03 billion won (6.76 million US dollars) from LIG NexOne and other suppliers from 2012.

Internal damage gauging equipment is a device that measures temperatures and vibration impact in order to gauge the destructive power of guided weapons. An inspection by the Board of Audit and Inspection revealed that this device was not capable of operating due to lack of vibration sensors and a control panel installed on it, but ADD gave the seal of approval, saying “operating properly,” and illicitly paid over 1.1 billion won (930,000 dollars) to a certain company. ADD received a delivery of seven automatic driving modules for armed talks from the suppliers, but prepared documents suggesting as if it actually had received a delivery of 11 sets.

Corruption in military procurement programs, which disables weapons systems that face off the enemy’s armed talks, is truly an act benefiting the enemy. The national defense budget plan for next year, which the Defense Ministry set and submitted to the Strategy and Finance Ministry, has topped 40 trillion won (34 billion dollars) for the first time ever. Notably, the Board of Audit and Inspection suggests that since the budget for defense research and development, which entailed 2.3345 trillion won (1.973 million dollars) in taxpayers’ money, was lavishly implemented last year, it has weakened the nation’s defense capability, while threatening national security.

Considering the special nature of defense procurement projects, which could entail corruptions, the late President Park Chung-hee put in place five-member committees both at the defense ministry and the presidential office, which were responsible for review of weapons systems when implementing the Yulgok project designed to strengthen combat capabilities and modernize weapons, so as to implement double or triple inspection systems. The joint investigation team should thoroughly investigate the entire process of corruptive supply practices and whether there was kickbacks paid, and sternly punish all those responsible, whichever ranks they hold.