South Korean police prep security for North Korean Olympic visitors

By Jennie Oh  |  Jan. 16, 2018 at 3:30 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter

SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- South Korean police are preparing to ramp up security protection for North Koreans attending the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next month.

This comes amid anticipation that North Korea will send hundreds of athletes, officials, cheerleaders as well as reporters and performers to the Games in Pyeongchang, about 50 miles south of the border.

On Monday, National Police Agency chief Lee Cheol-seong said security officers will launch operations at the Olympic venue soon to prepare for the North Korean delegation's visit.

"In the past, there were a number of cases in which North Korean athletes' movements were disrupted and some people were caught attempting to infiltrate their accommodation," he said.

Hundreds of North Korean athletes, officials and supporters have attended major sporting events in the South, according to Yonhap.

Some 700 came to the 2002 Asian Games held in Busan city and 273 athletes from the North took part in the Incheon Asian Games in 2014.

"This could be the biggest delegation in history. Based on experiences from the past, we will prepare to mobilize a sufficient police force," Lee said.

The size of the North Korean delegation is likely to be confirmed after an International Olympic Committee meeting on Saturday in Switzerland.

Local police are also scaling up measures to ensure safety during the Games, Newsis reported.

Gangwon Provincial Police Agency said Monday up to 9,000 police officers will be dispatched to a total of 30 locations throughout the Olympic stadium, as well as transit sites and tourist facilities in the surrounding Gangwon area.

SWAT teams, police dogs and armored vehicles will patrol the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza and the athletes' village, while special forces will be dispatched around train stations in the province.

Police are also training to respond to terror attacks in the forms of weaponized drones, charging vehicles and chemical, biological and radiological threats.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Drones
Trending Stories