Pressure cooker bomb threat sent to U.S. Embassy

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Pressure cooker bomb threat sent to U.S. Embassy

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A threatening letter along with a picture of a pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones used in the recent Boston Marathon explosions were sent to the U.S. Embassy in Jongno District, central Seoul, police said yesterday.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said the anonymous letter with the photo was delivered to the embassy Monday morning in an envelope without a return address.

The letter typed in both Korean and English said: “American citizens living in the territory of South Korea will be subject to attack if they continue with a war game.”

The two-month joint U.S.-Korea military exercise Foal Eagle concluded on Tuesday.

Instructions on how to create pressure cooker bombs like the ones used in Boston last month are easily found online.

The mail threat comes two weeks after Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin received a similar parcel containing a threatening letter on an A4-sized paper and suspicious white powder in a clear plastic bag, later confirmed to be flour, on April 23.

The package was stamped by the Dongdaemun Post Office and the letter threatened to punish for Kim if he “dares to provoke the utmost dignity” of North Korea.

Someone sent an e-mail to reporters to tip them off about the parcel sent to the minister.

The ministry described the threatening parcel as an act of “terror” and cooperated with the police and the National Intelligence Service to investigate the incident.

On April 19, hundreds of flyers threatening Defense Minister Kim were distributed near the Ministry of National Defense in Yongsan District, central Seoul, which police suspect was done by the same person.

Police suspect the same person sent the letter to the U.S. Embassy to fuel discord between South Korea and the United States.

“The U.S. Embassy receives letters all the time,” U.S. Embassy spokesman Andrew Young told the Korea JoongAng Daily.

“When letters arrive that require follow-up, we work closely with our partners in the security services of the Republic of Korea.”

By Sarah Kim [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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