Watertight security guarantees success of APEC
With the goal of guaranteeing the successful hosting of the ongoing Busan 2005 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference, the nation has been stepping up security with tens of thousands of police and security forces deployed to protect major facilities in the host city of Busan.
Security measures focus on naval blockades installed around the port city to prevent any attacks via the water. To fend off possible attacks through airplanes, a no-fly zone has been designated over the conference venues including the Nurimaru APEC House.
Security authorities have enhanced monitoring of ports, airports, post offices and mass transit systems, which are vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
Police will exert its full strengths to guarantee security and order around the venue for the country's successful hosting of the APEC conference, according to National Police Agency Commissioner General Huh Joon-young.
Intelligence officials said there have been no specific threats. But the country is on a high alert against possible terrorist attacks which often target high-profile international gatherings, shown by this year? London bombings that occurred during a meeting of Group of Eight leaders in Scotland.
South Korea is a key ally of the United States with some 32,500 U.S. troops stationed here. Especially, its troop deployment in Iraq raises the possibility that the country could become a target for Islamic terrorists during the event. The country has sent 3,260 troops to the war-torn country, the third largest troop presence after the United States and Britain.
To cope with any probable threats, the country? police and military established the APEC security task forces in September and have conducted a series of anti-terror operations.
"We will mobilize all security forces available during the event," Huh said.
Police and military have established comprehensive security measures to counter airborne and sea-based terror attacks during the event. The Air Force will patrol skies above all conference facilities with its F-16 fighters. Vessels are not permitted to enter within the seven kilometer coastline off the summit's venue. High-speed patrol boats equipped with thermal detection devices will also be deployed for the operations.
The military has also been enhancing coordination with U.S. Forces stationed in the region for the security operations. The two countries'defense chiefs met last month in the annual Security Consultative Meeting and confirmed to cooperate for anti-terror posture during the APEC conference.
The U.S forces have planned to deploy an airborne early warning system, anti-submarine aircraft and an aircraft carrier to provide defense against enemy infiltration.
Gimhae International Airport near the city has strengthened the check-ups on passengers'belongings. Busan Customs also have posted 265 officials around seaports and started to install 105 CCTVs around-the-clock on the entrance from the sea. Korea Post, the state-run mail service agency, has been tightening security checks of all letters and parcels to prevent biochemical terrorism such as anthrax dispersion using mailing service. The agency plans to install portable X-ray machines and metal detectors at its branch offices in major cities including Seoul and Busan.
The city government of Busan further arranged about 3,000 volunteers to prevent terrorist action.
Police have banned about 1,000 foreign activists linked to anti-globalization protests from entering the country before the summit earlier this month. The National Police Agency said the blacklist was made up in cooperation with Interpol, CIA and other intelligence authorities.
Police will also keep a close watch on another 400 foreign activists though they were not prohibited from entering the nation. nw