27 Feb 2010

Embassy threat after Olympic team disqualified

6:08 pm on 27 February 2010

A Korean man has threatened to blow up the Australian embassy in Seoul following a controversial disqualification in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Judge James Hewish of Australia disqualified the South Korean team, which finished first in the final of the women's 3000-metre relay speed skating event.

As a result, South Korea was denied the gold medal, which went to China.

The ABC reports that outrage at the decision in South Korea led a man to threaten to blow up the Australian embassy in Seoul.

The man, known only as Mr Kim, was arrested after South Korean police traced his telephone.

Australian officials described the threat as a hoax, but said "Korean authorities responded very quickly and it was resolved".

Judge Hewish's disqualification of a Korean skater at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002 prompted thousands of emails to the International Olympic Committee and sparked a diplomatic row.