Beefing up security as Seoul summit approaches

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Beefing up security as Seoul summit approaches


Policemen and a police dog conduct a search at COEX yesterday. Inspections at the main venue have increased with the G-20 Summit next week. [YONHAP]

Police have started inspecting all mail delivered to the main venue of the G-20 Summit, officials said yesterday, after the recent discovery of letter bombs sent to European leaders sparked security concerns here.

The G-20 Summit will take place at COEX in southern Seoul from Nov. 11-12, bringing together about 10,000 participants, including 32 heads of state and leaders of international organizations.

The National Police Agency said that all mail and parcels addressed to COEX, whose main office building houses hundreds of businesses and trade companies, are being inspected by X-ray scanners and sniffer dogs.

Parcel delivery will not be allowed during the event, and receivers should collect packages in person at separate storage sites and pass through security checkpoints to bring them into the building, the NPA said.

In addition, the NPA announced plans to ramp up X-ray inspections in airports and hotels where G-20 leaders will stay during the event, in order to prevent delivery of any suspicious packages targeting them.

About 10,000 police officers started making rounds last week in Seoul’s public places and major subway stations. Police SWAT teams have been assigned around COEX to prepare for any threats from terrorist groups and violent protests.

Under a special law on G-20 security that went into effect last month, all rallies and demonstrations within a 2-kilometer (1.24 miles) radius of the summit venue are banned from Nov. 8-12.

A movable 2.2-meter-high (7.2 feet), 1.6-kilometer-long security fence will be erected near COEX during the two-day summit.

Police received reports on Wednesday of a suspicious package left in Jamsil Station in southern Seoul, only three stops away from the venue.

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