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Police beef up security to counter terrorism

All Headlines 16:51 December 10, 2009

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's police chief said Thursday that police have beefed up security around the country to cope with possible terrorist threats at home, following the government's announcement of a plan to deploy troops to Afghanistan.

"Security is essential to secure a national identity but it has been neglected for the past 10 years," said Kang Hee-rak, commissioner general of the National Police Agency, at a parliamentary hearing.

"Police have been monitoring 75 foreign nationals from 10 countries," Kang said, responding to calls that authorities go on high alert for possible terrorist attacks as Seoul revealed its plan to send up to 350 troops to the war-torn country.

There were over 1 million foreigners in South Korea as of May this year, according to the Ministry of Public Administration.

Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan issued a statement warning of "bad consequences" should South Korea proceed with its deployment plan on Wednesday.

"Police will also send a special counter-terrorism team along with the military forces. We will guard the South Korean embassy in Afghanistan and South Korean people there," Kang said.

brk@yna.co.kr
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