Dec. 16 (UPI) -- South Korea's National Assembly fell into disarray on Monday after conservative protesters stormed the building and assaulted lawmakers.
Chaos erupted at about 11 a.m. and protesters refused to disperse upon police orders. Arrests began at about 7:30 p.m., local television network MBC reported.
The crowd carried U.S. and South Korean flags, as well as the flag of Israel, as they denounced progressive South Korean lawmakers and allegations of "senior official corruption," according to network JTBC on Monday.
The protesters represent the same groups that have staged rallies regularly since the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye. Most participants were in their 60s and 70s.
Police initially refrained from taking tough measures against the group because of their seniority and concerns about potential injuries, according to reports.
Members of the groups turned violent, however.
Footage of JTBC shows some protesters grabbing lawmakers by their hair.
"Why are you hitting me? Don't hit me," said one unidentified lawmaker in the footage of the rally.
Some protesters trespassed parliament through a back gate. Once inside the grounds, they sung the South Korean national anthem and condemned the "communist" ruling Democratic Party.
Sul Hoon, a Democratic Party lawmaker, said he was attacked.
"My glasses went flying. They said, 'Sul Hoon, he is a bad guy, and so on'," the lawmaker told JTBC following the incident.
South Koreans remain deeply divided since the impeachment of Park in 2017. Conservative protesters say Park's removal is unjustified, and their "Taegukgi rallies" have been held since 2016.
The country is polarized over recent charges the current administration of President Moon Jae-in blocked an inspection into the vice mayor of Busan, Korea's second-largest city.
Segye Ilbo reported Monday Cho Kuk, who was in charge of civil affairs at the presidential Blue House, was called in for questioning.
The president's office said there was no connection, and the inspection of Vice Mayor Yoo Jae-soo stopped because Yoo had not agreed to the inspection, according to the Korea Herald.