Man arrested for leaving bullet at site of presidential welcoming party

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Man arrested for leaving bullet at site of presidential welcoming party

A 28-year-old Korean who holds U.S. citizenship was arrested by police Tuesday for leaving a bullet in the area near the Blue House where residents were planning to hold a welcoming party for the incoming president on Wednesday.

The Jongno Police Precinct announced Wednesday that they arrested the man, surnamed Kim, for possessing a bullet without a permit, but let him go after interrogating him and finding no evidence of any intention to assassinate the president.

Kim had left the foreign-manufactured bullet, his watch and other personal effects on the bench of the bus stop across from the Blue House at around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, when he stepped away from the bus stop to smoke. A Blue House security guard found the bullet, arrested Kim and handed him over to the police.

“I had a pistol and the bullet with me when I was living in the United States,” Kim told police. “I did not bring the pistol with me to Korea. I found the bullet in the car that I brought from the United States, and carried it with me here.”

Police had also booked a man in his 80s carrying a toy gun at a campaign rally for President Moon Jae-in in Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul on Monday. The man was wearing the toy gun on his waist and hit a police officer in his shin and thigh several times when the officer tried to inspect the toy gun. He was booked for obstruction of public duty.

BY KIM MIN-SANG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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