World News

South Korean police detain 19 students at U.S. envoy's residence

SEOUL (Reuters) - Nineteen South Korean student demonstrators were detained on Friday after a group illegally entering the grounds of the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Seoul, police said.

The group, which identifies itself as a coalition of progressive university students, posted photos on its Facebook account in which several members climbed over the wall of the house of Ambassador Harry Harris using ladders.

In a separate video, apparently broadcast live from inside the compound, they accused the United States of demanding a 500% hike in the costs for the upkeep of some 28,500 troops in South Korea, holding a banner saying “Leave this soil Harris.”

The two countries are currently in talks over how to share the expense of the U.S. military presence.

“Stop interfering with our domestic affairs,” they shouted, followed by other chants “Get out”, and “We don’t need U.S. troops”, before being marched out of the residence by police.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Embassy.

A police official told Reuters that 19 students were sent to a police station for questioning.

In June, the group held a forum to present their “research findings” on the achievements of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, lauding him as a caring and influential leader.

The students also attempted to break into the U.S. Embassy in Seoul last January before being stopped by police.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Alex Richardson