South Korea to beef up airport security measures

15:20, January 27, 2010      

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The South Korean government said Wednesday it will beef up its airport security measures by implementing universal security audit programs such as high-tech detectors to better-screen passengers flying in and out of the country.

According to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, all major airports, including Incheon International Airport, will install liquid bomb detectors and whole-body screeners in the first half of this year in a move to prevent any kind of terror threats that may arise at local airports.

Liquid detectors are aimed at sorting out such liquid-based bombs as those were used in a failed bomb attack in Detroit on Dec. 25, while whole-body scanners will automatically detect non- metallic bombs without touching the passengers' bodies.

The ministry also said Wednesday's announcement is in line with the government's effort to secure all safety measures are properly in place before the G20 summit to be held in Seoul in November.

In response to concerns that the body-imaging device may inflict privacy harm, the ministry added it will ensure all body images are disposed of immediately following all scans, as the program does not have the function to store, print, or transfer images, and the face and sensitive areas of a the passenger's body will be blurred to protect privacy.

Currently, the United States, Britain, the Netherlands, and Japan have similar programs in place on a trial basis, while Canada, France, Italy, Thailand, and Nigeria have revealed plans to build it, the ministry said.

Source: Xinhua
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