중앙데일리

Terror alert issued to Koreans abroad

Mar 22,2003
The Foreign Ministry has issued a security alert through Korea’s foreign missions throughout the world for possible attacks against Koreans abroad and Korean installations.
The measure is precautionary, an official said, and there has been no immediate intelligence to suggest that such an attack is likely. The alert is based on concern that some elements sympathetic to Saddam Hussein’s regime may take issue with Korea’s express support for the American and British war against Iraq, the official said. The alert is not yet specific to particular parts of the world, he said, and is no greater for countries in the Middle East.
Koreans abroad are being closely monitored by embassies and consulates, which are asked by Seoul to take whatever measures may be necessary to ensure their safety. The possibility of terror attacks is not altogether unlikely, the official said.
The ministry has begun an analysis of possible changes to Korea’s diplomatic relations in the post-Iraq war period, especially in the Middle East.
The ministry said there has been no change to the status of the four Koreans who remain in Iraq, three anti-war protesters and a video journalist. The safety of one of the activists, Bae Sang-hyun, was confirmed yesterday when he moved into a hotel in Baghdad to join other activists. Mr. Bae had been thought to be at a power plant considered a possible U.S. air raid target. He left the site after learning to the contrary, he said by telephone in a radio interview. Another activist remaining in the city with Mr. Bae, Han Sang-jin, said the two are determined to live through the war and disclose atrocities and criminal activities should they witness any.
The Foreign Ministry said it is continuing to urge the four people to leave the country.
A group of professors, entertainers and medical doctors were the latest to join anti-war rallies in Seoul, demanding that the government withdraw its support for the military campaign against Iraq and scrap the plan to send engineering and medical contingents. Some entertainers demonstrated in front of the Blue House.
Downtown Seoul is scheduled to be thick with anti-war protesters today. More than 100,000 are expected this afternoon at a rally organized by civic groups and environmentalists. Later, a weekly candlelight vigil remembering teenage girls killed in a road accident involving a U.S. military vehicle is planned.


by Kim Young-sae


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