Crime & Justice

Alarm in South Korea over packages containing suspicious substances

Seoul, Jul 21 (EFE).- The South Korean Postal Service on Friday said suspicious packages that could contain toxic substances had been sent to several parts of the country, after three people were hospitalized.

The first reported incident occurred on Thursday in the southeastern port city of Ulsan, where a package was received at an assistance center for disabled people.

Three people who were present when the package was opened suffered dizziness and shortness of breath and had to be sent to hospital, where they remained on Friday in a stable condition.

It is still unclear what caused the symptoms, and the package has been sent to the Defense Development Agency for further analysis.

Earlier on Friday, at around 6pm local time, a similar package was found in a post office in the same city, and similar reports began to multiply, with such packages also detected in at least five districts of Seoul, Yongin (a suburb of the South Korean capital), Daejeon, Haman and Jeju Island.

The packages, which appear to contain a pasty, odorless product, are yellow or black in color and in several cases the sender has indicated that the shipment is from a company called Chunghwa Post with a post office box registered in Taipei, the Taiwanese capital.

In all of them, the sender’s contact details are unusable, South Korean police have said.

South Korean municipalities have started using the national alert system to warn people that “unidentified international mail items are being reported” and not to open “mail from unknown sources and immediately call” police or emergency services numbers.

In Seoul, some 1,700 people had to be temporarily evacuated as a security measure from the Korea Post (KP) headquarters after a suspicious package was detected.

One person, after checking the news, reported to authorities that he had received a package from Taiwan on July 11 on Jeju Island.

The bundle contained two plastic bottles, which this person discarded as he did not know what it was.

Similarly, a Haman resident on Friday handed over to the authorities a mysterious package that he received two months ago and had never opened but which in this case was sent from Malaysia. EFE


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