Section : Safety and Security
In recent years, the U.S. Embassy and U.S. military installations throughout the Republic of Korea have taken steps to increase security at all facilities. U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea should review their own personal security practices, be alert to any unusual activity around their homes or businesses, and report any significant incidents to local police.
Political, labor, and student demonstrations and marches have on occasion become confrontational and/or violent. In September 2002, three U.S. soldiers were confronted by a group of activists on a train, and one of the soldiers was forcibly taken to an anti-American demonstration and held against his will for three hours. Later that month, firebombs were hurled at a U.S. military installation near Uijongbu. In October 2002, a group of seven demonstrators climbed over the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul and attempted to set the American flag on fire.
Although the Republic of Korea is generally safe, American citizens in the Republic of Korea can minimize personal risks to themselves and their property by exercising caution and avoiding areas in which demonstrations are being held, as well as by avoiding confrontation with protestors.
The U.S. Embassy in Seoul will continue to keep the U.S. community informed of any changes in the overall security situation. To hear a recording of the most up-to-date security information affecting U.S. citizens in Korea, please call (011-82-02)-397-4114 and press the following series of numbers: 1,1,1,7.