, BUSAN, June 4 – South Korea imposed tight security Friday on a Group of 20 meeting in the southern city of Busan amid high tensions with North Korea over the sinking of a warship.
Police declared a wide area around delegates\’ hotels and a convention hall off-limits to passers-by as SWAT teams, accompanied by sniffer dogs, checked the venues.
"We will carry out security operations in a very restrained and refined manner to reassure participants that South Korea has no problems with security, despite the sinking," city police chief Lee Kang-Deok was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.
Superintendent Kim Hae-Joo said 7,000 police officers were ensuring security for the meeting of finance ministers starting later Friday and ending Saturday.
It is the first G20 ministerial forum to be held in South Korea, which will also host a summit of the group in November.
Commandos and explosives disposal teams were on standby. Police boats patrolled off the city\’s Haeundae beach, where the meeting is being staged.
Crash barriers and metal detectors were installed at the Westin Chosun hotel where most delegations are staying.
Tensions are running high on the Korean peninsula after a multinational investigation concluded last month that a North Korean submarine torpedoed a South Korean warship in March with the death of 46 sailors.
The South has announced reprisals. The North, which denies involvement, has responded with threats of war.