SEOUL — One of President Biden’s security officers was arrested and accused of assaulting a South Korean citizen in Seoul a day before Biden arrived in the country, according to South Korean police.
The individual was detained early Thursday, an official with Seoul’s Yongsan district police said Friday. The official, who spoke on the 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 Friday, said the suspect was allegedly drunk and got into a fight with a South Korean over a taxi near the Grand Hyatt hotel in Seoul, where Biden’s team is staying. The individual works for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is in their 30s, according to the newspaper.
DHS oversees the Secret Service, whose agents in the past have been involved in unruly behavior while being detailed overseas. The White House referred questions to the Secret Service, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Biden arrived Friday for the first visit to Asia of his presidency, kicking off a five-day tour aimed at underscoring his administration’s diplomatic and economic commitment to the region in the face of a rising China.