The Korea Herald


S. Korea's overseas missions vulnerable to terror attacks: lawmaker

By 조정은

Published : Sept. 19, 2011 - 11:15

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SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's embassies, consulates and missions remain vulnerable to terrorist attacks because they have failed to meet security standards or be properly equipped with anti-terror devices, a lawmaker said Monday.

In particular, none of the 53 diplomatic missions in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, which are considered to have higher terrorism risks than other posts, has been fully equipped to identify threats and prevent attacks, said Rep. Jungwook Hong of the ruling Grand National Party in a report.

Out of a total of 166 missions, 86 posts have no metal detectors and 41 have no intrusion-detection systems, Hong said in the report.

Hong, a member of the National Assembly's foreign affairs committee, said he obtained the report from the Foreign Ministry.

Anti-blast film must be applied to the glass at 84 diplomatic missions to make them safe from the threat of a bomb explosion, but only 14 posts are equipped with it, the report said.

Hong criticized the ministry for spending its budget for anti-terrorism efforts at overseas missions "without any clear plans."

"The ministry should make efforts to efficiently spend its budget, rather than pointing to a budget shortfall," Hong said.

Last year, the ministry didn't allocate anti-terrorism expenditures to 28 of the 53 missions considered to have higher terrorism risks than other posts, Hong said.