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May 27, 2017

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MND intrusion exposes major security issues within military

For those who have a stereotyped image about military installations and believe that they always maintain a heightened level of security, it may seem unimaginable that Taiwan's Pentagon, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) Headquarters, was recently intruded upon by a civilian.

What is even more unbelievable was that the intrusion was not accomplished by some spy with high-tech equipment, but by a middle-age woman.

The incident took place last Tuesday, May 6.

According to the military, the woman, surnamed Liang (梁) took an MND shuttle bus to enter the MND Headquarters' Chung Ai compound (忠愛營區) located near the Presidential Office building at around 5 p.m. last Tuesday.

The woman claimed to be an MND employee and boarded the shuttle bus. The driver of the bus, who was responsible for screening the identities of those aboard the bus, did not check her ID.

The woman was later found wandering around on the third floor of a building in the compound by a soldier standing guard at the office of Defense Minister Yen Ming (嚴明). Without proper ID or a security pass, she was asked to leave the building, the military said.

The embarrassing incident was, of course, initially not publicized by the MND. It was exposed after an opposition lawmaker received a tip on the intrusion. A source told the lawmaker that the woman claimed to be Yen's wife and thus gained entry to the compound.

To clarify the accusation, the MND was forced to come out and confirm the incident, while stressing that the intruder did not claim to be the wife of the minister.

Frankly speaking, whether or not the woman claimed to be Yen's wife, the incident was definitely a major security breach for the MND and deserves its highest attention in many ways.

First of all, the driver of the shuttle bus, a sergeant surnamed Tang (唐), failed to follow regulations in not checking Liang's ID before letting her board the bus.

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