2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Republic of Korea
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||5 August 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Republic of Korea, 5 August 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c63b62728.html [accessed 3 May 2016]|
The Republic of Korea (South Korea) demonstrated excellent law enforcement and intelligence capabilities to combat terrorism. South Korean immigration and law enforcement agencies had a strong record of tracking suspicious individuals entering their territory and reacting quickly to thwart potential terrorist acts. Seoul also reviewed and strengthened its emergency response plan and, in accordance with UNSCR 1267 and 1373, further tightened its legislative framework and administrative procedures to combat terrorist financing. For example, the Prohibition of Financing for Offenses of Public Intimidation Act took effect in December 2008 and was intended to implement the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, to which the South Korea has been a party since 2004. Under the Act, funds for public intimidation offenses are identified as "any funds or assets collected, provided, delivered, or kept for use in any of the following acts committed with the intention to intimidate the public or to interfere with the exercise of rights of a national, local, or foreign government." An amendment expanding the government's ability to confiscate funds related to terrorism was enacted in March, enabling the government to confiscate not only the direct proceeds of terrorism, but also funds and assets derived from those proceeds. In October, South Korea became a full member of FATF. The accession to FATF will allow Korea, an observer since 2006, to actively participate in the process of setting and revising global Anti-Money Laundering and Counterterrorism Financing Terrorism (AML/CTF) standards and increase international cooperation.
South Korea supported U.S. counterterrorism goals in Afghanistan by announcing the establishment of a Provincial Reconstruction Team. In addition, South Korea worked closely with other foreign partners and played a constructive role in improving regional counterterrorism capabilities. South Korea continued to participate in the counterterrorism activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the Asia-Europe Meeting. The Korea Overseas International Cooperation Agency hosted counterterrorism training and capacity-building programs for regional partners in forensic science, prevention of money laundering, and cyber security.
In March, the Counterterrorism Committee Executive Directorate of the United Nations visited South Korea to monitor its efforts to combat terrorism in accordance with UNSCR 1373. The team found that Korea had made good progress with respect to AML/CFT laws and mechanisms to criminalize terrorist financing and freeze funds and assets. In October, the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses hosted the ninth Biannual Symposium of the Council for Asian Terrorism Research, with the theme "Korean Peninsula WMD Threats: Regional and Global Implications." In November, South Korea hosted the second APEC Cybersecurity Seminar on "Protection of Cyberspace from Terrorist Attacks and Use," which brought 13 countries together to discuss recent cyber attacks and ways to deal with the challenges of cyber terrorism. In December, the Ambassador for International Counterterrorism Cooperation hosted the second round of South Korea-U.S. bilateral counterterrorism consultations, attended on the U.S. side by the Deputy Coordinator for Regional Affairs of the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Korea also held bilateral counterterrorism meetings with Indonesia, Japan, France, and Germany during the year.
The South Korean government has recently been concerned over the growing number of South Korean citizens abroad who have been victims of terrorist attacks. In March, four South Korean tourists were killed and five were wounded in a suicide bombing in Yemen, for which al-Qa'ida later claimed responsibility. In June, another South Korean civilian working for a medical NGO in Yemen was kidnapped and killed. Although the Yemeni government did not find a conclusive connection to an established terrorist group in that incident, the South Korean government was put on alert and is now exploring various possibilities to prevent future attacks on its citizens.