The National Police Agency said Thursday it plans to clamp down on anyone who breaks social distancing rules and participates in illegal assembly and rallies.
The warning comes at a time when South Korea is struggling to tamp down a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections that has pushed the number of daily reported cases to around 2,000.
The police said it will deploy as many resources as possible to prevent mass rallies from being held, and it will respond with harsh measures to any violators in accordance with law. If rallies are held, police officers will be dispatched to disperse protesters, the police agency said.
As of Friday morning, 316 rallies from 41 organizations are expected to be held in Seoul over the coming weekend, according to the police.
The far-right National Revolutionary Party led by Jeon Kwang-hoon, who also heads the Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul, said it will stage a mass rally with an expected turnout of 10,000 people.
The party said participants will stand 2 meters apart in lines stretching from Seoul Station to Gwanghwamun Square for three days from Friday to Sunday. A number of civic groups also announced plans to hold rallies in the downtown area during the weekend.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency will run temporary checkpoints at bridges and main roads to downtown areas as a means to block any demonstrations. The police agency also asked buses to bypass downtown areas in case of traffic jams.
Residents are advised to stay away from central Seoul and to take the subway to avoid getting caught in traffic.
By Ko Jun-tae (email@example.com)Internet Explorer Channel Network