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September 21, 2017

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Probe ordered for MND security breach

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Chang Chun-hsiung ordered a "thoroughgoing" investigation of a security compromise involving an orderly at the office of Chief of the General Staff Gen. Ho Shou-yeh yesterday.

Answering an interpellation at the Legislative Yuan, Chang said the Ministry of National Defense should find out if the top military secrets were leaked.

The Apple Daily published an expose reporting an unnamed orderly sold to paper recycle dealers shredded documents that had been given top secret classification.

Paper-shredding machines at the office of General Ho did not totally shred the classified documents, the paper reported. One could easily piece together the shredded papers to learn top military secrets.

"That's a very, very serious security compromise," the premier told Lee Ching-hua, a Kuomintang lawmaker who questioned the lax supervision at General Ho's office.

According to standing operating procedure, classified papers have to be shredded and the shredded papers should be sent to a paper mill under supervision of a security officer. They are destroyed there. Documents are turned into pulp again to make recycled paper.

The orderly was not accompanied by any security officer, the Apple Daily said. The shredded papers were not sent to any paper mill. An Apple Daily reporter bought some of them from the paper recycling dealer to whom the order sold them.

Pictures of pieced-together documents were printed on the paper's front page.

All classified papers have to be destroyed in full accordance with the regulations, Premier Chang said. "The MND should initiate a thoroughgoing investigation to find out the truth, and any and all personnel involved, if found to have compromised security, have to be severely disciplined," he pointed out.

General Lee Tien-yu, minister of national defense, called General Ho to account.

"I was angry," General Lee told the press. "How could that kind of thing ever happen?" he asked.

Ho admitted the shredders at his office are "too old," but he couldn't explain why no security officer had supervied the destruction of classified documents.

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