Son of Nat'l Assembly Aide Fingered in Bomb Hoax

      January 27, 2015 10:56

      A hoax caller who threatened to bomb Cheong Wa Dae, was the son of an aide to National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa. The man is accused of threatening several times to blow up the homes of President Park Geun-hye and presidential chief of staff Kim Ki-choon.

      Police said the 22-year-old, identified only by his surname Kang, tweeted the threats from Paris on Jan. 17.

      On Jan. 25, Kang telephoned Cheong Wa Dae five times threatening to blow it up. Security officers searched the grounds until that evening but found no explosives.

      Police were able to trace the source of the phone calls and Internet messages to Kang, who has a history of being treated for mental illness. He had suffered from depression, anxiety and social phobia.

      According to police, Kang left for France on Dec. 13 last year. The aide did not know where his son had gone and ended up reporting him missing. But the son later called saying he had run out of money.

      The young man was reportedly staying in a guest house run by a Korean and rarely ventured out. A Korean in Paris said, "He didn’t travel but seemed to frequent an Internet cafe near the guest house" where he also usually had his meals.

      When he ran out of money, he turned to the Korean Embassy in Paris to seek an emergency money transfer from his parents in Korea. Korean diplomatic missions overseas offer the service to citizens who do not have bank accounts abroad.

      Police tracked Kang down with the help of an embassy officer after the young man tweeted his first threat.

      One source in France said, "Kang displayed strong symptoms of paranoia and got restless if he couldn’t access the Internet. He said he knew who had made the bomb threats but refused to admit it was him."

      Kang is reportedly on his way to Korea with his father, who flew to Paris to convince him to return home. He will be taken into custody on arrival Tuesday afternoon.

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