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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan returns missile components to U.S., MND confirms

ROC Central News Agency

2008-03-26 13:03:44

    Taipei, March 26 (CNA) A batch of four fuses used in triggers for nuclear weapons that the United States mistakenly shipped to Taiwan in 2006 have been returned to U.S. possession, the Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday.

    Although the goods were delivered to Taiwan in 2006, the military did not discover the mistake until the Army Command inspected the shipment last week and found it did not conform to the goods originally ordered, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement Wednesday.

    After alerting the United States to the mistake and filing compensation claims, the military turned the missile components over to the American Institute in Taiwan on Tuesday, the statement said.

    Wu Wei-jung, director of the MND Armaments Bureau, said at the Legislative Yuan on Wednesday that the U.S. shipped the missile components in place of batteries for Army helicopters that Taiwan had ordered, and his office has asked the U.S. to provide the items originally purchased.

    U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said at a Pentagon news conference Tuesday that the misshipped items were four electrical fuses to be used in nose cone assemblies for intercontinental balistic missiles.

    Wynne confirmed that Taiwanese authorities had notified the U.S. of the mistake and said the matter was under investigation.

    Wu said that the U.S. had initially asked the MND to handle the matter by itself. But when Taiwan's military found it did not have the capability to do so, it asked the U.S. to step in and manage the return of the parts, Wu said.

(By Deborah Kuo)

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