SEOUL, March 9 (Korea Bizwire) — Dongdaemun Gate, a heritage site in central Seoul, was briefly set on fire in an apparent arson attack, police said Friday.
The fire in Heunginjimun, the gate’s official name, was first reported at around 2 a.m., firefighters said. A witness reported seeing smoke coming out of the wall.
The fire was put out in four minutes, causing soot on part of its wall with no serious damage or human casualties. Dongdaemun Gate is South Korea’s National Treasure No. 1.
Police apprehended a 43-year-old suspect on site, identified only by his surname Chang. He did not appear to be intoxicated at the time of the apprehension, they added. He is undergoing questioning.
Police believe the suspect illegally entered the fortress and lit the fire on a pile of paper boxes using a lighter, in frustration out of personal grievances.
They said they are working to determine his motive.