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MND declines to confirm whether Taiwan has medium-range missile

ROC Central News Agency

2013/03/16 19:02:53

Taipei, March 16 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Saturday declined to confirm whether Taiwan has successfully developed a medium-range missile and said that the former defense minister who made such a statement should be more conscious of national security.

'The MND will maintain its stance of giving no explanation or comment' on that matter, MND spokesman Luo Shou-he said, noting that there have been several news reports in recent years on Taiwan's development of such a missile.

The MND said that former Defense Minister Tsai Ming-hsien still has a responsibility to safeguard national security.

Tsai should not disclose national secrets or any sensitive information that would undermine national security, the ministry said.

Tsai, Taiwan's first civilian defense minister to serve in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, has revealed in a new book that the country's military successfully developed a medium-range missile, according to a report Saturday in the local Liberty Times.

The missile has credible performance in terms of speed, control, precision and error rates, Tsai reportedly said in his book, 'God Bless Taiwan.'

He said the missile was test fired at a military base in southern Taiwan in February 2008, when he was minister of defense, according to the news report.

The next day, Stephen Young, then director of the Taipei Office of the American Institute in Taiwan, called on Tsai, expressing concern about the range of the missile and said flatly that it was a defensive weapon, the paper reported.

The AIT is the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

According to the website of the Taiwan Association of University Professors, Tsai's new book will be launched Sunday at a seminar on Taiwan Strait crisis and regional security cooperation.

(By Rogge Chen and Lilian Wu)
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