Two reporters from a local news agency were taken into custody on suspicion of attempting to eavesdrop on a meeting convened by the national police chief, Yonhap News Agency reported Friday.
According to the police, the journalists from Asia News Agency, identified only by their surnames Jang and Noh, installed a small recorder at a restaurant in Suwon, some 46 kilometers south of Seoul, where National Police Agency Commissioner Kang Hee-rak was hosting a dinner with senior police officers after visiting local police stations.
Kang has recently come under public criticism for his agency's handling of street rallies mourning the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun, including nearly 10 days of blockade of the plaza in front of Seoul's City Hall that was lifted Thursday. The journalists were apparently hoping glean information from Kang on the issue and his policy on dealing with protesters.
Investigators said they searched the room and found the recorder after being told by restaurant workers that someone had come into the room before the dinner.
"We will give our response on the issue soon," an official from Asia News Agency was quoted as saying by Yonhap, refusing to comment further.