Interior and Safety Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Monday the authorities will deal sternly with any aggressive rallies during US President Donald Trump's scheduled visit to Seoul this week.
"While we do protect the freedom of expression through legal means, the ministry will sternly handle acts that pose a threat to the state guest and the public," he said in a statement released ahead of Trump's two-day trip here, which is slated to begin Tuesday (local time).
"The government will thoroughly brace for any accident by putting the police force at the highest level of alert," he said.
|Interior Minister Kim Boo-kyum (R) and National Police Agency Commissioner-General Lee Choel-sung speak in a press briefing in Seoul on Nov. 6, 2017, over the government`s tightened security plan during U.S. President Donald Trump`s visit slated for Tuesday. (Yonhap)|
According to police, 109 protest rallies have been registered with the authorities over the cited period, many of which are expected to march in criticism of the US president and his hard-line approach toward North Korea.
The National Police Agency has said it will restrict the areas near the US Embassy in Gwanghwamun and ready all of its forces for any emergency. It has rejected two protest rallies citing security concerns.
"It is the basic duty of mature citizens to treat the leader of our key ally with respect," he added.
Activist groups are set to stage rallies nationwide starting early Tuesday. Those in central Seoul plan to march along a route composed of places Trump will go, from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae to his hotel in the city. They will also stage a candlelight vigil at night, the groups said.
Police plan to set up fences around the National Assembly, where Trump is expected to deliver a speech, and deploy 1,600 officers from 20 squads in case of any emergency. (Yonhap)