Korea will send police task force to World Cup

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Korea will send police task force to World Cup

The National Police will dispatch a task force to South Africa to protect the Korean cheering squad at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off next month, the agency said yesterday.

The five officers on the task force all are fluent in English and have experience both overseas and in the police external-affairs division.

Led by Park Hyeong-ah, the officers will leave for South Africa on June 9. Park will be on standby at an international police cooperation center in Pretoria, the capital, to collect up-to-date safety and terror information and relay it to Korean residents in South Africa and the Korean fans. The other officers will be in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban, where the Korean team will play matches. On days when the Korean team rests, the task force will work together with South African police authorities to protect places where Korean visitors and expatriates are staying.

The National Police Agency said it has not decided whether the task force team will wear police uniforms or plain clothes, but they will wear bulletproof vests at all times for security.

“The safety condition in South Africa is insecure and police have tremendous responsibilities as there are even terror threats by Islamic militants,” Park said. “The police will put forth their best efforts to protect Korean residents and the cheering squad there.”

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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