(LEAD) Far-right party remains silent on removing protest tents
(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead with updates)
SEOUL, June 27 (Yonhap) -- A far-right opposition party continued to remain silent on whether it will remove protest tents set up at a public plaza in central Seoul during U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to South Korea.
The Our Republican Party has illegally set up tents on Gwanghwamun Square to call for the release of arrested former President Park Geun-hye, pitting itself against the city government, which has ordered the removal.
The group initially set up the tents in May, which were demolished by the city government on Tuesday. They were rebuilt immediately on the same day by the party.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government requested the party to remove the newly built tents by 6 p.m., Thursday.
Earlier in the day, there had been speculation that the party might consider removing the tents ahead of Trump's visit to Seoul.
Trump will visit South Korea on Saturday and Sunday after attending the summit of the Group of 20 countries (G-20) in Osaka.
"We think it appears to be right for us to voluntarily remove the tents during Trump's visit (when taking into account security concerns)," Rep. Hong Moon-jong, co-head of the party, told a radio program earlier in the day.
When asked whether the party will erect the tents again after Trump's trip, Hong said the party will likely stick to the move until their demand for a probe into the deaths of supporters of Park during 2017 rallies is accepted.
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