No S. Korean casualties reported in South Africa riots: official

SEOUL-- No South Korean casualties have been reported so far in riots that erupted in South Africa, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, following reports of damage to an LG Electronics Inc. factory.

At least 10 people have been killed and around 500 arrested since recent protests triggered by the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma turned into violent rioting as mobs and others began to ransack shops and buildings.

An LG TV factory located in Durban has been destroyed after multiple looting and arson attacks over the weekend. A South Korean wig manufacturer also suffered property damage.

"We gather that there have been no casualties of our citizens reported so far," foreign ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sam said in a press briefing.

Around 3,300 South Koreans are living in the country, according to foreign ministry data. Most of them are staying in Johannesburg and Pretoria, while about 1,000 people are in Cape Town and 120 others in Durban, the epicenter of the violence.

"Our embassy in South Africa has asked the authorities of the host country to beef up protective measures for our companies, and we are constantly communicating with the companies there to deliver their requests to the government and other related agencies of the host country," Choi said.

Incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday (local time) ordered the deployment of troops to help police quell the violence.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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