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Suspended terms finalized for protesters charged with trespassing into U.S. envoy's residence

All News 09:25 December 13, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- The Supreme Court has finalized suspended prison terms for four anti-American activists charged with trespassing into the U.S. ambassador's residence in 2019 as part of a protest over defense cost-sharing talks between the two countries, court officials said Monday.

The protesters, who are members of a progressive association of college students, climbed over the wall of the ambassador's residence in central Seoul and staged a protest in the compound in October 2019, when then Ambassador Harry Harris was in office.

A lower court sentenced them to one year in prison, suspended for two years, and the highest court upheld the ruling after rejecting their appeal that they exercised their legitimate rights to assembly guaranteed under the Constitution.

The protest was against Washington's demand for a hefty rise in Seoul's share of the cost for the upkeep of the 28,500-strong U.S. troops in South Korea.

The court said the accused apparently intended to obstruct business at the residence based on the prepared protest placard and printed material.

The Supreme Court office building in southern Seoul (Yonhap)

The Supreme Court office building in southern Seoul (Yonhap)


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