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(4th LD) Arrest warrant sought for Yonsei University bomb suspect

All News 23:24 June 14, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; RECASTS with latest info)

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's police on Wednesday sought an arrest warrant to formally detain a graduate student who launched a nail bomb attack that injured a professor this week.

Police apprehended the 25-year-old student, identified only by his last name Kim, Tuesday night for sending a homemade bomb to his professor's office at the engineering faculty building of Yonsei University in western Seoul earlier in the day. The professor, also surnamed Kim, suffered burns after opening a box containing the explosive.

The police said they sought an arrest warrant against the student on the charge of illegal use of explosives, but not attempted murder, adding that the former would contain the latter charge. The police said Kim was scolded by the professor when preparing his thesis, and had the intention to actually hurt the professor with the bomb.

According to the police, the student confessed that he made the bomb on his own without Googling or looking up YouTube clips.

He decided to make one after he read the news on the April 3 terror attack at a subway station in St. Petersburg, Russia. Kim began to work on the bomb in late May and completed it in about two weeks, the police said.

The explosive, which was placed inside a drink tumbler, had a detonator connected with wires to four batteries that can be purchased from any hardware store. It was filled with gunpowder and dozens of small bolts, which police suspect were intended to maximize the damage.

"It seems that the suspect used his own basic scientific knowledge to design the bomb," a police officer said.

The tumbler bomb was designed to go off as soon as the box was unsealed. But the explosion wasn't very powerful, as the mixture combusted too quickly.

The police sent the suspect's computer and mobile phone to the national forensic institute for a detailed analysis and to prove whether his statements are true.

The police had suspected that it was a deliberate plan, since Kim created an alibi for his presence near the professor's office around the time of the incident.

He lied to police earlier that he was there to "reactivate a 3-D printer" and wandered along the corridor to "wake himself up."

Kim later admitted to making and placing the bomb after the police found surveillance footage of him throwing out a plastic medical glove that had gunpowder residue on it.

This photo shows components of an explosive that went off at Yonsei University on June 13, 2017. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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