Police ban sound machines at G-20

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Police ban sound machines at G-20

As the nation’s police announced beefed-up security measures for the G-20 Summit, a man was arrested yesterday on charges of calling in a bomb threat at the meeting venue.

Leaders of the world’s 20 major economies will meet for the G-20 Summit on Nov. 11 and 12 at COEX in Samseong-dong, Gangnam District. The National Police Agency declared the venue a special security zone yesterday.

On Sunday, the government decided not to use sound cannons to disperse demonstrators and will instead use other methods, including water cannons, to control violent protests, National Police Agency Commissioner Cho Hyun-oh said yesterday.

The plan to use sound cannons stirred concern among activists who said they could cause irreversible damage to a person’s hearing. The government responded to that concern Sunday by banning their use.

A 48-year-old man called the 112 police hot line on his cell phone about 3 p.m. yesterday, threatening to explode a bomb at COEX during the summit, according to Eunpyeong Police.

The police said they tracked the call to the man’s location and he was nabbed in front of Bulgwang Station. During questioning, the suspect said he was upset about the lack of social welfare and had made the threat under the influence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, Cho gave more details of security measures for COEX yesterday, declaring the area within a 2-kilometer (1.2 miles) radius of the convention center a special security perimeter. Protests will be banned inside the zone from Nov. 8 to 12, Cho said. A 2-meter-high (6 foot, 6 inches) fence will be built around the COEX center to strictly control access.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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