South Korean Man Arrested after Taking Hostage at New Politics Alliance for Democracy.

John Kim, Dec. 30, 2015, 9:28 a.m.


An armed man was arrested after staging a hostage situation at the local office of a leading presidential hopeful of the main opposition party Wednesday, police said. The 55-year-old man, identified only by his surname Chung, stormed into the Busan-based office of Moon Jae-in with a weapon at around 9:10 a.m. Moon is chief of the recently renamed Minjoo Party of Korea, formerly the New Politics Alliance for Democracy.

Moon was not at the local office at the time, as he was in Seoul to participate in a memorial ceremony of a former lawmaker. Chung claimed to be the younger brother of a renowned documentary writer, according to police. After binding Moon's aide, surnamed Choi, with tape, the offender poured paint thinner on the floor of the office and threw a fire extinguisher out a window.

The one-hour long hostage situation left Choi with minor wounds. The offender eventually turned himself in to the police outside the building. Chung demanded that Moon be arrested, but his exact motive is still being investigated. "Everything is done now. I will tell everything at the police station and prosecutors' office," Chung said.

Police said they will investigate the details of the incident, including the reason he committed the crime. "An employee who was alone at the office was hurt, but the episode ended without further unfortunate accidents," Moon wrote on his twitter. Moon expressed hope that only good things will happen next year.

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