Govt. to mobilize Air Force planes, Coast Guard vessels to safeguard Olympics from terrorism
Korea will take a series of measures to safeguard the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics from terrorism, with Air Force planes patrolling around the venues and Coast Guard vessels and commandos standing guard off shore, the government said Friday.
The government announced these measures after a meeting of the national anti-terrorism committee presided over by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, as Korea is making last-minute checks on preparations for the Feb. 9-25 games.
Under these measures, police will strengthen inspections of vehicles and people entering Olympic facilities while setting up roadblocks to places considered vulnerable to attacks and taking steps to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
The defense ministry will have Air Force aircraft patrol the air and sea around the Olympic venues and get an explosive disposal unit and a rapid response team for chemical and biological attacks to be on standby, officials said.
The Coast Guard will have four patrol vessels and a commando squad ready near the east coast, while the National Fire Agency plans to dispatch about 540 firefighters and rescue workers around the venues and the athletes' village to prepare for various accidents, officials said.
The land and transportation ministry will designate a no-fly zone near the venues, they said.
During Friday's anti-terrorism meeting, the government also approved a motion to provide a Korean victim of last year's terrorist attack in London with an unidentified amount of money for medical expenses and consolation.
It is the first time the government has made such a payment to a victim of an overseas terrorist attack. That underlines the government's determination to take "unlimited responsibility" for ensuring the safety of citizens, officials said.
The government also plans to push for an anti-terrorism master plan this year, officials said.
Under the plan, the government will strengthen terrorism information sharing among related government agencies, keep the list of foreign terrorist suspects up to date in cooperation with Interpol and other international agencies, and beef up capabilities to cope with new types of terrorism, such as those using drones, officials said.(Yonhap)