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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Contingency plans in place amid tensions on Korean Peninsula: NSC

ROC Central News Agency

2013/04/05 21:25:01

Taipei, April 5 (CNA) Various contingency plans have been put in place to deal with whatever developments may occur on the Korean Peninsula, the National Security Council (NSC) said Friday following a meeting of top government officials on the issue.

Acting on a directive by President Ma Ying-jeou, NSC Secretary-General Jason Yuan hosted a meeting of senior officials in the afternoon to review various contingency plans drafted by relevant government agencies, the NSC said in a statement.

Among the meeting's conclusions was that if war or a nuclear attack were to occur on the Korean Peninsula, it would pose a security threat to expatriates living there, to Taiwan's economy and to the environment (through radioactive fallout).

Under such a scenario, Taiwan's government would respond with appropriate measures to deal with the consequences based on contingency measures already developed, the NSC statement said.

Another conclusion was to renew a call for peaceful resolution of any dispute in the region.

Ma's directive came amid reports that North Korea could be planning to launch a mobile ballistic missile in the near future.

The information was based on communications intercepts in recent days, but it was not clear if North Korea was planning a test launch or a strike, the news reports said, citing a U.S. official.

At the meeting, the NSC, the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the National Security Bureau said they have set up emergency response centers and put contingency plans in place, the statement said.

Government agencies have also been kept in close contact with their counterparts in the United States, South Korea and Japan, the statement said.

If the tensions on the Korean Peninsula continue to escalate or the situation deteriorates further, the NSC may call a meeting of senior officials again to determine which steps or response measures should be taken, the statement said.

Meanwhile, MND spokesman Luo Shou-he said the ministry has activated an emergency response center and has been kept informed of the latest developments on the Korean Peninsula through various channels.

"The military has drawn up various strategies to ensure national security," Luo said.

Military sources said the military has tightened air and sea monitoring in addition to conducting regular naval and airborne patrols.

Moreover, the sources said, the Air Force's long-range early warning radar system has been operating around the clock.

When North Korea fired a missile earlier this year, the Air Force was able to detect the firing a few minutes ahead of Japan, the sources said.

MOFA spokeswoman Kao An said the government supported all resolutions and steps that are conducive to maintaining regional peace and stability.

She urged North Korea to exercise self-restraint and refrain from taking any actions that would cause unrest and instability in the region.

Taiwan's representative office in South Korea, meanwhile, has held several meetings to anticipate and prepare for possible developments that may occur in the future, Kao said.

She said the MOFA maintains a gray-level travel advisory for South Korea, urging people intending to visit that country to pay extra attention to their personal safety.

The MOFA also advised local people not to make sightseeing or business trips to North Korea for the time being, she added.

(By Rogge Chen and Sofia Wu)

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