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No explosives found at Seoul stadium in police search following bomb threat against Los Angeles Dodgers star

South Korea Bomb Threat Ohtani
Posted at 7:11 AM, Mar 20, 2024

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police said they’ve found no explosives at Seoul’s Gocheok Sky Dome after searching the site Wednesday following a reported bomb threat against Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani.

About 150 police officers used sniffer dogs, X-ray detectors and other equipment to search through the stadium, but no suspicious objects were discovered, according to Seoul’s Guro police station.

Police officers said they acted on a tip that there was a threat targeting the Japanese star but didn’t elaborate.

“It’s unfortunate that the threat of a bomb even being a possibility, but I have complete confidence in Major League Baseball and the security here that we feel safe,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said before the game.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he didn't receive any specific information about the threat and was told to ”just keep working on the baseball game."

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the search happened after South Korea's consulate general in Vancouver, Canada received an email threatening to detonate an explosive at the Gocheok stadium during the Major League Baseball opening game between the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres scheduled to start later Wednesday. The game will mark the first MLB regular season game in South Korea.

Yonhap said the sender of the English-language email claimed to be a Japanese lawyer. Yonhap cited police as suspecting the email might have come from a person who last year allegedly sent a number of similar threats while claiming to be a Japanese lawyer.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry didn't immediately respond to AP's requests to confirm the content of the email reportedly sent to the consulate general in Vancouver.

Police and bomb-sniffing canines were seen searching the seats and hallways of the stadium during the morning. The search did not appear to affect game preparations, with groundcrews checking the fields and K-pop performers rehearsing in the outfield.

Guro police officers said about 350 officers will be deployed by the time the Dodger-Padres game begins.

The Dodgers set a record with a $700 million, 10-year contract with two-way star Ohtani and a $325 million, 12-year deal with right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto and have attracted a rock star following ahead of this week’s opening series against San Diego in Seoul.

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AP writer Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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