The Korea Herald


Seoul court gives suspended term to Japanese embassy attacker

By 박민영

Published : Sept. 5, 2012 - 20:05

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A Seoul court on Wednesday gave a suspended one-year prison term to a South Korean man for ramming a truck into the Japanese embassy here in protest against a right-wing Japanese activist's nationalistic act.

The 61-year-old local antique dealer, surnamed Kim, was charged with driving his cargo truck into the main gate of the embassy in central Seoul on July 9. No casualties or damage were reported.

Judge Lee Dong-shik of the Seoul Central District Court convicted Kim of the attack and sentenced him to a one-year prison term, saying, "Kim's act cannot be justified as he attacked a foreign mission which is protected by the international law in order to achieve his purpose."

However, Lee said he suspended the punishment for two years, considering Kim's motive for the deed and the fact that there were no casualties.

Kim was accused of attacking the embassy to demand the arrest of a right-wing Japanese activist who set up a provocative wooden stake beside a bronze statue of a young girl in front of the Japanese embassy in mid-June.

The bronze statue, installed by former sex slavery victims under Japanese military rule during World War II and their supporters, symbolizes Korean wartime sex slaves, euphemistically called "comfort women." (Yonhap News)