Seoul – South Korean police say one of President Biden’s security officials was arrested and charged with assaulting a South Korean national in Seoul just hours before Biden arrived in the country.
The man was arrested early Thursday morning, an official with Seoul’s Yongsan District Police said Friday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the incident, declined to comment further.
South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, which first reported the case on Friday, said the suspect was drunk and fought with South Korea in a taxi near the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, where Biden’s group was stationed. The man works for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is in his 30s, according to the newspaper.
The DHS oversees the Secret Service, whose agents have been involved in irregular behavior in the past while being a detailed foreigner. The White House referred the question to the Secret Service, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Biden arrived on Friday as the president’s first visit to Asia, embarking on a five-day visit aimed at strengthening his administration’s diplomatic and economic commitment to the region in the face of growing China.