Feeds

US mistakenly sent nuke-ICBM parts to Taiwan in 2006

They only wanted some batteries, apparently

The Power of One Infographic

US officials admitted today that "nose cone assemblies" for nuclear missiles had been mistakenly sent to Taiwan in 2006, but sought to calm fears by saying that they had now "regained control" of the bits.

AP quoted US Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne as saying "we're very concerned".

It appears that Taiwan had actually ordered a number of batteries for use in US-supplied helicopters, but instead received electrical fuse assemblies for use in the noses of Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"This could not be construed as being nuclear material. It is a component for the fuse in the nosecone for a nuclear system," said Wynne at a press briefing this afternoon.

Pentagon and White House officials told reporters that America had learned of the problem after the Taiwanese recipients of the nuke fuses told them. US investigators have thus far established that the items were shipped from a US airbase in Wyoming to a warehouse in Utah during 2005, and then on to Taiwan in 2006. The sequence of events after that was "unclear".

There seems to be no suggestion that the nosecone assemblies were radiological or nuclear materials as such. Even so, their export by mistake is plainly a matter of concern to a government with strict rules for overseas sales of military or dual-use technologies.

However, officials did say that the Minuteman missile - of 1960s vintage - was "quite dated". ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles
Arrests people allegedly accessing child abuse images online
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.