South Korea to Avoid Using Huawei Kit for Sensitive Communications
Published on: 14th Feb 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
The South Korean government appears to have bowed to pressure from the USA and will avoid using Huawei supplied equipment in government communications.
All three of South Korea's mobile networks have signed contracts with Huawei for infrastructure upgrades, but US security officials have been expressing concern that communications with the US military based in the country could pass over Huawei equipment.
US officials have repeated their long-standing view that Huawei equipment is a security threat and that its installation in South Korea presented a problem for its military.
Huawei always denies any allegations that it would support spying activities.
However, the Wall Street Journal has reported that the South Korean government has agreed that Huawei gear won't be used or connected to U.S. military bases in the country.
LG U+ is the main customer for Huawei in the country, although both of its rivals also use the company's equipment, they say they do so only in non-sensitive areas.
"While the United States has expressed concerns in the past, these decisions were made by the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea alone," said State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki.
The USA has around 28,500 military personnel in the country as part of a long-standing agreement to support the South Korean government in a possible future conflict with its Northern counterpart.
While the USA is worried about Huawei equipment being used for spying, it was recently noted here that Huawei's own routers had been hacked into, by US spies.
On the web: Wall Street Journal