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Govt. decides to lower anti-terrorism alert status

South Korea decided Tuesday to lower its anti-terrorism alert to the lowest level, nearly two years after raising the status by a notch in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris.

Following the Paris attacks in November 2015 that left more than 130 people dead, the government raised the anti-terrorism alert to the step 2 or "caution" level and has since maintained it through regular situation assessment meetings.

On Tuesday, an interagency anti-terrorism meeting involving officials from 11 agencies decided to lower the status in consideration of the "fatigue" that relevant agencies suffer from maintaining the heightened status for an extended period of time, a government statement said.


However, the terror alert for Seoul and some other parts of the country will be raised during US President Donald Trump's visit to the country early next month, the statement said. The overall alert will also be adjusted according to domestic and international situations, including the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the statement said.

South Korea's anti-terrorism status has four levels, with level 1 meaning ordinary times with no threats. The level 2 calls for increasing the number of guards at major state facilities and enhancing the security of hazardous materials that could be used in terrorism.

The level 3 calls for further strengthening access control and guards at facilities vulnerable to terrorism, while level 4 calls for putting officials of relevant agencies on emergency standby and setting up a special office coping with terror incidents. (Yonhap)