WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regrets the "deeply distressing" release of a secret list of key infrastructure sites that could threaten US security if hit by terror strikes.
"I will underscore that this theft of U.S. government information and its publication without regard for the consequences is deeply distressing," Clinton said as she briefed reporters with Japan and South Korea's top diplomats.
"The illegal publication of classified information poses real concerns and even potential damage to our friends and partners" worldwide, she warned.
In one of its most explosive leaks of U.S. secrets so far, WikiLeaks on Monday divulged a list of key infrastructure sites around the world that, if attacked, could critically harm U.S. security.
The website released a February 2009 State Department cable asking U.S. missions to update a list of infrastructure and key resources whose loss "could critically impact" the country's public health, economic life and national security.
The list detailed undersea cables, key communications, ports, mineral resources and firms of strategic importance in countries ranging from Britain to New Zealand, via Africa, the Middle East, and China.
Also listed were European manufacturers of vaccines for smallpox and rabies, an Italian maker of treatment for snake-bite venom and a German company making treatment for plutonium poisoning.
Compilation of the list would help "prevent, deter, neutralize or mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts by extremists to destroy, incapacitate or exploit" sites deemed of "vital" importance to the United States, the cable said.
© AFP 2013