19 Aug 2003

PNG Government says land border secure, but maritime security difficult

5:11 pm on 19 August 2003

The Papua New Guinea Defence minister says the land border with Indonesia is secure but he admits the country's economic situation makes maritime security difficult.

Kappa Yarka says the government sees border security as a priority and the ministry is fully aware of any possible threats.

Mr Yarka's comments come after the Sandaun Governor, Carlos Yuni, recently said the border was not secure and posed a threat to security in the region.

Mr Yuni said terrorists could easily enter Australia by moving through PNG.

Mr Yarka says the government is doing its best but the government's financial situation does not help.

"You cannot take incidents like the Bali bombing and others as isolated incidents.... we've also had boat people being sent to Papua New Guinea. That has also put a lot of pressure on the government....we are aware of these things, but as a developing country, scarce resources have been one of the major obstacles."

PNG Defence minister Kappa Yarka.