2 South Korean media personnel arrested for trespassing home of North Korean envoy in Singapore

2 South Korean media personnel arrested for trespassing home of North Korean envoy in Singapore

North Korean Ambassador home
The home of the North Korean ambassador to Singapore in Joo Chiat. (Photo: Fann Sim)

SINGAPORE: Two South Korean men were arrested on Thursday (Jun 7) for allegedly trespassing at the home of the North Korean ambassador in Joo Chiat.

The men, aged 42 and 45, are working for South Korean broadcaster KBS News, said the Singapore police in a news release on Friday, adding that they were alerted to the case at about 3.50pm.

Two other South Koreans, a 31-year-old working for KBS News and a 29-year-old guide and interpreter for the group, are under investigation.

All three men from KBS News are not accredited media personnel in Singapore, police added.

KBS said in an emailed statement it was ready to take any action Singapore authorities deemed necessary.

"We do not know exactly what the situation is or whether it is illegal. We will respect the results of the investigation by the local police and will take necessary measures as soon as the results come out," KBS said.

The national public broadcaster of South Korea operates radio, television and online services.

When asked about the arrests, a spokesman for South Korea's presidential Blue House said it would use "utmost diplomatic effort to prevent such troubles" and urged journalists to be "cautious and prudent".

The issue was seriously discussed during a tea meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his officials earlier in the day, Yonhap news agency cited presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom as saying to reporters.

Home of North Korean Ambassador Kim Chol Nam
The North Korean flag (right) seen at the entrance of the ambassador's house in Joo Chiat.(Photo: Fann Sim)

The arrests come days before Singapore is due to host the highly anticipated summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un on Jun 12. Authorities have reminded all foreigners visiting Singapore to abide by local laws.

More than 3,000 foreign journalists are expected to fly in to cover the summit.

“Those who break the law will be dealt with firmly, and this may include termination of visas and repatriation,” said the police.

“Members of the media who commit any offence in Singapore will also not be accredited and thus will not be able to cover the summit between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

If convicted of criminal trespass, the South Korean men could be jailed for up to three months, fined up to S$1,500 or both.

Source: CNA/Reuters/gs