A Secret Service agent working for President Joe Biden was reportedly arrested for allegedly assaulting a citizen of South Korea in the nation’s capital city of Seoul just hours before Biden was scheduled to arrive, South Korean police said.
According to The Washington Post, a Seoul’s Yongsan district police official said Biden’s security officer was arrested on Thursday. The official requested anonymity and would not provide any additional details about the incident.
Chosun Ilbo, a newspaper in South Korea, also reported that Biden’s security officer — identified as being around 30-years-old and an employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — was drunk and fought with a South Korean citizen over a taxi. The incident occurred near the Grand Hyatt hotel, which is hosting Biden’s team.
However, Reuters reported that a U.S. official said the security officer was not arrested or detained, but he was “investigated” by South Korean authorities. According to the outlet, a second U.S. government employee was also involved in the incident, but he was not investigated for any wrongdoing.
“The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations,” said Anthony Guglielmi, an agency spokesman. “The individuals will be immediately returned back to their post of duty and placed on administrative leave. There was no impact to the upcoming trip.”
On Friday, Biden called South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol by the former South Korean president’s name before quickly correcting himself.
“Thank you all very much and President Moon — Yoon, thank you for everything you’ve done so far,” Biden said during his visit to a Samsung microchip facility, as reported by The New York Post.
UPI New reported that Biden said the Samsung Pyeongtaek campus is “emblematic of the future cooperation and innovation that our nations can and must build together.”
“By uniting our skills and our technological know-how, it allows the production of chips that are critical to both our countries and our essential sectors of our global economy,” the U.S. president added.
Speaking with Biden at the world’s largest semiconductor fabrication site, Yoon said the relationship between the United States and South Korea is “blossoming into an economic and security alliance based on our partnership for advanced technologies and global supply chains.”
“The Republic of Korea provides 70% of the memory chips used around the world, positioning ourselves at the center of the global supply chain,” Yoon added.