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South Korea to strengthen punishment on defense technology leaks

Staff Writer | January 3, 2019
South Korea's defense ministry said Thursday that it will strengthen punishment on defense technology leaks while encouraging defense firms to voluntarily reporting any leak, according to local media reports.
South Korea army
Asia   The defense ministry unveiled a set of measures
The defense ministry unveiled a set of measures to prevent defense technologies from being leaked overseas, such as the revocation of the official designation as a defense firm entitled to bid for government weapons procurement.

It added to the existing penalties, including the criminal punishment, asset forfeiture and the imposition of fines.

Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk was quoted as telling local reporters that the penalty would be intensified for defense technology leaks, including the revoked designation as a defense firm and the redemption of the proceeds of crime.

To encourage the voluntary disclosure, the ministry would reduce disadvantages against a defense firm voluntarily reporting any breach of the relevant rule.

The ministry planned to revise a related law to allow the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the country's spy agency, and the Defense Security Support Command (DSSC), the military intelligence agency, to rapidly launch investigations into any suspected leak of defense technology.

It also planned to reinforce the oversight of overseas offices of local defense firms and toughen background checks on both South Koreans and foreigners, employed by defense companies for overseas operation.

The vice defense minister was quoted as saying the South Korean defense industry was exposed to various threats, such as cyberattacks, brain drains and technology leaks through the mergers and acquisitions (M&A).