December 15, 2017 11:13
Seoul on Thursday lodged a formal protest after Chinese security guards savagely assaulted two Korean photojournalists who were covering an event with President Moon Jae-in hours before his summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
One of the photojournalists suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his eye after the security guards dragged him away from the event and kicked and beat him. They also shoved Cheong Wa Dae staff who tried to intervene.
The event was a trade fair in Beijing involving around 200 Korean firms and 500 prospective Chinese buyers hosted by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
Moon was walking around followed by reporters when without warning the security guards blocked Korean reporters and assaulted two photojournalists who protested.
A reporter for the Hankook Ilbo daily was thrown on the ground, while a dozen security guards rushed on a photographer for the staid Maeil Business Newspaper and kicked him in the face and other parts of the body.
When Cheong Wa Dae staff tried to intervene, the guards shoved them out of the way and continued their assault. The two injured reporters were taken to hospital for treatment with bruises and bleeding as well as back pains and nausea.
The Korean reporters were part of the presidential press entourage and had been selected as part of a pool of photographers.
The Chinese guards had been hired by the Korean organizers but were under the control of Chinese police, according to Korean officials.
A spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry told reporters, "If someone is hurt, of course we are concerned about that. We hope it's just a minor incident."
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