Pyeongchang Olympics Security Will Leave Little to Chance

  • By Seok Nam-jun

    January 11, 2018 12:17

    Feverish security preparations are under way for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which are only a month away.

    A 17 m-long tactical surveillance blimp will be set afloat in the sky over Pyeongchang and Gangneung during the Olympics. Originally designed for military reconnaissance purposes, the airship will watch movements on the surface from 150 to 200 m up around the clock while connected to a 10-ton vehicle on the ground.

    Footage shot by high-powered cameras with night vision will be monitored by the organizers' office and the government's counter-terrorism offices.

    The organizers have already worked out a triple response to prevent drone attacks. Any suspicious drone will be incapacitated by radio jamming technology, shot down by snipers or attacked by another drone.

    Some 810 smart security cameras are already installed throughout the Olympic venues to prevent conventional terror attacks like suicide bombers and hostage taking.

    The cameras will automatically detect suspicious movements in and around the venues or the athletes' village and immediately notify security officers on the ground so they can subdue suspicious people quickly.

    They can see at night and zoom in on objects with a high-resolution view. Anyone caught by them will be checked with a global terrorist database.

    "We can find a match in the database based on the ratio of the face components, so no terrorists can evade detection no matter how well they're disguised," the official said.

    All cars passing through area will be X-rayed by special vehicles that cost W1.5 billion each and allow security officials to look inside passing vehicles the moment they pass by (US$1=W1,071). Customs officials will be on extra alert for any people or weapons hiding or stashed away in cargo bays.

    The security office consists of 115 veteran military, police, National Intelligence Service, and firefighting personnel. Most of them have experience at major international events including the 2002 World Cup and the 2010 G20 summit in Seoul.

    In addition, about 10,000 police officers and tens of thousands of military troops will be mobilized. Some 2,500 college students majoring in security, police administration and martial arts have also been recruited as civilian personnel. They will check entrances and exits at gates, conduct security screenings, maintain safety, and patrol all areas.

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