By Kim Bo-eun
Police stepped up protection of the eight Constitutional Court justices, Friday, following their unanimous ruling supporting the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
The measures came due to threats made by pro-Park group members against acting court President Lee Jung-mi, who disclosed her home address and the location of a hair salon she frequents.
Ahead of the ruling, the activists also referred to justices supporting the impeachment as “rebels.”
Police have been expecting the pro-Park activists might attempt violent protests in front of the justices’ homes, and have allocated two to three guards for each of them. Guards will continue to protect Lee, after she resigns Monday.
Following the ruling, pro-Park activists who gathered in front of the Constitutional Court shouted “Let’s destroy the Constitutional Court,” and some attempted to break through a line of police buses, climbing onto them and breaking windows.
Some wielded bamboo sticks against officers, while others attacked reporters at the scene, prompting arrests.
Police confirmed the death of two participants _ a man in his 60s who became unconscious after claiming to have difficulty breathing and another the cause of whose death the police have yet to confirm. A man in his 50s was taken to the hospital after stabbing himself.
The National Police Agency issued the highest-level emergency order for Seoul, ordering all personnel on leave to return to duty. It mobilized 21,600 officers and blocked access to roads nearby the Constitutional Court.