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May 28, 2017

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NSB dismisses reports of plans to use military force to quell protests

TAIPEI--The National Security Bureau (NSB) on Saturday dismissed reports that National Security Council Secretary -General King Pu-tsung wants to use military force to deal with protesters, saying they were inaccurate and malicious fabrications.

The NSB said it regretted the biased and unverified reports.

The bureau was responding to reports citing accusations by opposition Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Yi-ying on her Facebook page that King asked police to tighten their enforcement of the law during a visit in early June to the National Police Agency (NPA).

King even instructed that in the event of a massive protest, the Ministry of National Defense should set up a command center, according to Chiu.

The NSB said that during the visit, King exchanged views with senior police officials, and NSB Director General Lee Hsiang-chou looked at possible security improvements to prevent a repeat of incidents such as a truck ramming through Presidential Office barricades in January.

The bureau said no participants at the meeting raised the question of "military command" or discussed the issue.

The NSB said visits by King, who assumed his post in March, are aimed at learning about the security efforts of related agencies and helping them solve problems to upgrade the nation's security.

The NPA also said Saturday that Chiu's claims were not true.

"The NPA seriously denounced the false reports ... It is impossible that the Ministry of National Defense will set up a command center to give orders or dispatch military forces for large-scale protests," the agency said in the statement.

During the visits, King, Lee and related officials only wanted to know if there were difficulties in taking the necessary security measures and gave instructions to step up communication among agencies, it said.

The police will be acting according to the Law Governing People's Rallies and Protests along with other relevant regulations to handle all public activities in the future, the agency emphasized.

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