South Korea vows tight security for nuclear summit

AFP , Wednesday 15 Feb 2012

Police in Seoul show off high-tech bomb-disposal robots, conduct anti-terrorism drills ahead of next month's planned nuclear summit

Police in South Korean capital Seoul said some 40,000 officers would be deployed during the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul to guard against potential attacks by North Korea or terrorists. Top leaders from some 50 nations and four international bodies will attend the 26-27 March summit to discuss issues including how to restore confidence in the nuclear industry, organisers said.

"We can't rule out the possibility of provocations by the North given its political situation," national police chief Cho Hyun-Oh said during an event to showcase preparations for the event. He cited the North's alleged torpedo attack on a South Korean warship that claimed 46 lives in March 2010 and the shelling of a border island that killed four South Koreans in November of the same year.

Commandos dressed in combat gear demonstrated how to deal with rowdy protesters or terrorists in a hostage situation, as well as how to detect and remove bombs using sniffer dogs and robots.

"We will boldly enforce the law when deemed necessary," Cho said.

South Korea has repeatedly voiced concern over potential attacks by the North ahead of major global events such as the G20 summit in Seoul in 2010, though such predictions have not come to pass in recent years.

A North Korean agent bombed a South Korean airliner in 1987 in the run-up to the Olympics in Seoul, and a bloody naval clash erupted in 2002 when South Korea co-hosted the World Cup. The nuclear summit is the second since US President Barack Obama inaugurated the forum in Washington in 2010 as a way to strengthen international safeguards and prevent nuclear terrorism.

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