Premier Lin Chuan today demanded an investigation into Friday’s incident in which the military misfired an anti-ship missile and caused one civilian death and several injuries.
At a meeting with Vice Premier Lin Hsi-yao, Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Mei-ling and the ministries concerned, the premier discussed steps to take in the investigation and ordered the following:
1. The investigation should be conducted by a special task force under the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, and the Ministry of National Defense (MND) must offer its full cooperation. The task force should thoroughly examine all witnesses and evidence and determine whether the misfire was an accident or the result of other issues of lax military discipline.
2. As leaked government secrets pose a serious threat to national security, the MND should review its current intelligence security procedures, and the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office task force should look into any illegal disclosure of information associated with the incident.
3. The MND must thoroughly investigate the missile misfire and make a full-out effort to review all operating procedures, training and discipline guidelines, and military safety measures. The responsible parties must be held accountable.
4. The MND must act quickly to answer the public’s questions and dispel misconceptions about the incident, provided the responses do not involve disclosure of classified information. The responses must also be posted on the ministry’s website homepage for the public to view.
5. The MND must promptly meet with the victims’ families to discuss national compensation.
Per the premier’s orders, Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan manned the MND emergency response center yesterday while the chief of the general staff was dispatched to southern Taiwan where the missile accident took place. Vice Premier Lin and Deputy Defense Minister Lee Hsi-ming were also sent to southern Taiwan to look into the matter and convey the government’s condolences to the victims’ families.