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Man sued over prank call on presidential office attack


SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- Police said Wednesday that they have filed a damages suit against a man over a prank call saying an attack on the presidential office is imminent, which prompted a frantic search operation.

The Dongdaemun Police Station in Seoul said that they are seeking more than 7 million won (US$6,866) in compensation from the 45-year-old, identified only by his surname Jang, for wasting police time and resources.

In April, Jang made the prank call through his friend's cell phone, claiming that 12 people -- of undisclosed identity but supposedly from North Korea -- had come through China to attack the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, police said.

He also claimed to be part of a group that sent a North Korean drone discovered in Paju, just south of the inter-Korean border, earlier this year. Seoul alleges that the drone, one of three found in March and April, was sent for spying purposes.

More than 40 officers and a dozen patrol cars were deployed for a five-hour search operation, but they concluded that the call had been a hoax.

Police officers arrested Jang on the streets of downtown Seoul on charges obstruction of justice through deceptive conduct.

"We will continue to deal sternly with prank calls, which are extremely reckless," police said. "The compensation money would be donated to the needy."

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