S Korea blacklists over 5,000 foreign terror suspects

The number of the suspects under supervision shot up this year.

Seoul: South Korea enlisted 5,388 foreigners as suspected terrorists to be monitored in the January-August period to counter potential terrorist attacks and threats, the customs office said.

Since 2003, the government has put a total of 9,355 foreign terrorist suspects on a special watchlist and monitored whether they have entered or left the country, the Korea Customs Office said in a report to lawmakers yesterday.

The number of the suspects under supervision shot up this year as the government has been tightening the security in the run-up for the Seoul summit of 20 leading countries in November. In 2009, a total of 400 suspects were placed on the list.

"But there has been no terrorist suspect who moved in and out of South Korea," the office said.

South Korea`s police will be on the high alert ahead of the November 11-12 summit to counter terrorist threats and massive street rallies. There are plans to erect 2.2-metre-high fences around the venue of the meeting, and to increase security checks at Incheon International Airport, South Korea`s main gateway.