New DAPA chief vows to ensure transparency, professionalism, efficiency in arms projects

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- Wang Jung-hong, the new head of the state defense procurement agency, vowed Friday to enhance transparency and efficiency in defense projects and strengthen communication with citizens to shore up public trust.

Wang, the former secretary-general of the Board of Audit and Inspection, made the remarks as he was sworn in as the minister of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), replacing Jeon Jei-guk.

"Our administration will focus on fostering the conditions for more transparent, professional, flexible and efficient defense projects," Wang said in his inauguration address.

"The best weapons systems are possible through the transparent and reasonable management of the projects ... The goal of securing the best capabilities and quality to prevent any waste of money due to corruption and any injuries of our soldiers should be prioritized," he added.

Wang also stressed the need to develop the defense sector into a national "strategic" industry fueled by the fourth industrial revolution marked by the convergence of cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

"If you look at history, new technologies have always been first used in defense projects, and innovation in the defense sector has led innovation in the private sector," he said.

The new minister, in addition, pledged to ensure communication and exchanges with citizens and the private sector to ensure that citizens can have confidence in state-led arms projects, some of which had been under public scrutiny for corruption.

"Defense projects without communication with citizens could trigger their suspicion and resistance, which could, sometimes, result in a delay of the projects," he said. "Through various channels, we will try to actively communicate with people."

After passing the high-level public administration exam, Wang began working at the state audit agency in 1989. Since then, he has served in various prominent posts, such as chief of the BAI education wing and its planning department.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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