‘Leave this soil’: Seoul police ramp up security after protesters break into US ambassador’s residence
South Korean police have increased security at the US ambassador’s residence in Seoul after a group of students demonstrating against American troops in the country were able to infiltrate the diplomatic compound.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police agency said Saturday that the number of officers guarding the estate was more than tripled to 110. The beefed-up security comes a day after a group of protesters used ladders to gain entry to the walled-off grounds around Ambassador Harry Harris’ residence. Nineteen students were detained after unfurling banners saying “Leave this soil, Harris.”
“Stop interfering with our domestic affairs,” they shouted, followed by other chants – “Get out,” and “We don’t need US troops” – before being escorted off the property by police.
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The group said they were motivated by Washington’s insistence that Seoul should pay to keep US troops on its soil.
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A spokesman for the US Embassy in Seoul said that the diplomatic mission was “seriously concerned about the illegal breach” and urged Korean authorities to do more to protect the compound.
American diplomatic and military outposts in the region are regularly targeted by protesters.
Last year, tens of thousands of protesters in Okinawa, Japan marched to stop the planned relocation of a US military base, demanding that the facility be removed from the island entirely.
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