Reinforce security ahead of G-20

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Reinforce security ahead of G-20

A bomb planted by suspected Al Qaeda militants blew up an oil pipeline run by Korea National Oil Corp. in southern Yemen on Tuesday, raising alarms as Korea prepares to host the Group of 20 Summit in Seoul next week.

Agence France-Presse reported that a local branch of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Meanwhile, Seoul is trying to water down concerns, saying “nothing has been confirmed,” while also examining the possible Al Qaeda connection. Disturbingly, the bombing coincided with the recent wave of mail bombs sent from Yemen, an Al Qaeda hotbed where several oil and gas fields of international companies are based.

The government must be on full alert for terrorist attacks targeting the meeting of world leaders in Seoul.

It is distressing that terrorism has returned to haunt the world again. Bombs were discovered on cargo planes headed for Chicago in Britain and the United Arab Emirates last week. The bombs were attached to a syringe containing a chemical initiator designed to detonate the PETN explosives packed into a printer toner cartridge. Both packages were shipped from Yemen.

The packages were seized before they did any harm, thanks to a tip from Saudi Arabian intelligence authorities. United States security authorities suspect the militant Al Qaeda faction on the Arabian Peninsula is behind the bomb plot.

Europe as also victim to a mail bomb scare after bomb-packed parcels exploded near foreign embassies in Athens. Earlier this week, a similar package was sent from Greece to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office. On the same day Baghdad suffered about 20 synchronized car bomb attacks that killed at least 100 civilians.

Korea has been targeted by the Yemen-based branch of Al Qaeda before. Four Korean tourists were killed in a suicide bombing in Yemen in March 2009. The government delegation investigating the case was also targeted. Al Qaeda said on the Internet that the attack had been carried out in retaliation against Korea for its collaboration with the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism.

Terrorism by the Al Qaeda network is becoming more intelligent and more widespread. It is hard to tell when and who will be the next target. Korea is no longer a safe zone. We must reinforce our security to prepare for all possible threats.

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