2-meter steel fence erected around Coex
By Lee Hyo-sik
With South Korea gearing up to host the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies, a security fence has been set up on the roads surrounding Coex, the main venue for the Nov. 11 and 12 G20 Seoul Summit, to protect participants from possible terrorist attacks and protests.
The G20 Security Taskforce said Wednesday that a 2-meter-high steel fence was erected Tuesday night on the south and east-side roads surrounding the Coex complex, the nation’s largest convention center and underground shopping mall. Another fence is also planned to be set up on the west and north-side roads on Wednesday night.
Not only the Coex, but also adjacent structures, including two hotels, a department store and the trade tower, will be enclosed by the 2-kilometer-long fence. Vehicles and pedestrians seeking to cross the fence will be subject to an intense security inspection.
The taskforce also plans to put up brick walls around Coex buildings Thursday night to better ensure the safety of the summit participants.
The move came in response to expected mass rallies near the summit venue by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and other labor groups. Several progressive civic groups have also vowed to organize demonstrations during the two-day-meeting to oppose its agenda, in cooperation with representatives of their foreign counterparts.
But the police said any rally and demonstration troublemakers will face harsh punishment, stressing no one will be allowed to hold rallies within a two-kilometer radius of the Coex under the Special Law on G20 Security.
Security has also been tightened inside the summit venue. Special forces police officers have begun patrolling throughout Coex and other adjacent structures, accompanied by sniffer dogs.
Increased manpower and even technology will be utilized as facial recognition surveillance cameras have been installed at the security checkpoints to more effectively screen for possible terrorists.