U.S. Media Showcases Doomsday Bunker in S.Korea

  • By Yu Yong-weon, Cho Yi-jun

    August 31, 2017 12:30

    NBC Nightly News on Tuesday took viewers on a tour of an underground U.S. military command bunker in South Korea as tensions soared to new heights on the peninsula.

    It did not say where exactly the bunker is but said it is "under a mountain on the outskirts of Seoul." Based on that description, it appears to be TANGO, which is the joint South Korea-U.S. command facility. The network's foreign correspondent Richard Engel was taken on a guided tour of the bunker, which he describes as "a place of last resort."

    Inside the lair, South Korean and U.S. soldiers were busy at computer terminals and monitoring radar screens as part of ongoing computer-simulation drills.

    NBC correspondent Richard Engel shows a doomsday bunker on the outskirts of Seoul on Tuesday. /NBC

    TANGO is short for "Theater Air Naval Ground Operations" and briefly came to international notice in 2015, when then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a visit.

    It was built in the 1970s under a granite mountain on the outskirts of Seoul, buttressed with reinforced concrete strong enough to withstand a nuclear attack.

    It can also survive a chemical attack, with personnel being able to survive for up to two months without outside supplies. The maze-like facility contains meeting rooms, a cafeteria, clinic and water supply. It has been equipped with cutting-edge technology and receives real-time information from KH-12 spy satellites and U-2 reconnaissance planes.

    There is a high-security area inside TANGO that even top South Korean military officials require clearance to enter. Known as SCIP, it apparently contains various intelligence data supplied by U.S. reconnaissance equipment and spy agencies.

    The heart of TANGO is the War Room, where top brass can gain a comprehensive view of military operations through large screen displays, not unlike the set for "Dr. Strangelove."

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