SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Nearly 20 pro-Pyongyang South Korean students broke into the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Seoul Friday, displaying banners demanding Harry Harris leave the country, in an embarrassing security breach.
The students broke into the compound in the center of the capital by climbing over the wall, pictures they posted on Facebook showed.
One image showed a group standing on the veranda of a hanok — a traditional Korean house — holding up banners stating, “Harris leave this land,” and other slogans.
They said they were protesting Washington’s demands that Seoul increase its contribution to the cost of defending the South. The United States stations 28,500 troops in the country to protect it against the nuclear-armed North, which invaded in 1950.
A police official told Agence France-Presse: “Seventeen students were taken to police stations for investigation after breaking into the ambassador’s residence.”
The South’s foreign ministry condemned the students, saying that “any harm or attack on foreign diplomatic missions cannot be justified under any circumstances.”
It had asked for security to be stepped up around the residence and the U.S. Embassy, it added.
The student group involved has said it would welcome North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if he visited Seoul.
The U.S. Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
© Agence France-Presse