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Small rallies held in Seoul amid coronavirus concerns

Diplomacy 14:54 March 01, 2021

SEOUL, March 1 (Yonhap) -- Some conservative groups went ahead with small street rallies in Seoul on Monday to denounce the Moon Jae-in administration amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

On the rainy day, the 102nd anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement against Japan's colonization of Korea, more than 10 members of a group staged a rally at around 11 a.m. in front of Gwanghwamun in the city center.

The group had applied for the approval of the gathering of roughly 50 people, but the Seoul Administrative Court limited the number of participants to a maximum of 20 due to worries about the virus spreading.

A group of protesters stages a rally at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul on March 1, 2021. (Yonhap)

The court has upheld the Seoul city government's ban on large-scale demonstrations scheduled for the highly symbolic holiday.

The Our Republican Party, a far-right political party, announced plans for separate rallies across Seoul, each of which would be joined by up to nine people. Some groups are also pushing for in-car protests.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police remained on high alert, with more than 7,000 officers deployed to prevent large-scale assemblies. They have fenced off roads and streets around Gwanghwamun Square.

South Korea suffered a wave of coronavirus infections attributable to huge crowds gathering at the square on Aug. 15 Liberation Day last year.

Police fence off streets near Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul on March 1, 2021. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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