S.Korea military on top security alert to guard G20 summit

South Korea’s military was put on top security alert this week to guard next month’s G20 summit against any disruptions by North Korea or international terrorists.

“Our military has been placed on the highest level of security alert” until November 13, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff told AFP.

Seoul will host world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama for the Group of 20 summit from November 11-12, in what is considered the nation’s biggest appearance on the world stage since the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

The South’s military, helped by U.S. reconnaissance equipment, is closely monitoring movements by North Korean troops, the spokesman said.

The South’s military has been conducting drills to cope with possible provocations by the North or terror attacks, with naval forces and the coastguard monitoring sea vessels, he said.

Police have also drawn up strict security measures. A special law came into force this month giving police greater power to break up street rallies and allowing a military presence in public places.

Police plan to deploy a record 50,000 officers to guard the event.

More than 200 foreigners have been banned from entering the country for fear they may disrupt the summit, the national police chief was quoted as saying Friday.

“(We have) blocked the entry of 204 foreigners, including 184 protesters who were arrested during the G20 Pittsburgh summit in September last year,” Cho Hyun-Oh was quoted by a lawmaker as saying during a parliamentary inquiry.

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