Calm returns to Moon Village as heightened safety rules come into effect

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YANGSAN, South Korea, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) — Tranquility and calm appear to have returned to a rural southeast village where former President Moon Jae-in’s residence is located on the first day of security measures reinforced.

From Pyeongsan Village in Yangsan, 420 kilometers southeast of Seoul, the loud noises and offensive language of anti-Moon protesters disappeared.

Instead, the silence is broken only by the intermittent natural sounds of insects, such as the chirping of cicadas.

Until last week, the noise and shouting of anti-Moon protesters had been unrelenting in Pyeongsan, a small rural village of just 54 households, since the Moon family arrived at their new home on May 11 after retiring.

The sudden and huge change came after the presidential security service expanded the former president’s guard zone under President Yoon Suk-yeol’s instructions and banned gatherings within 300 meters of Moon’s residence in from Monday.

An iron fence was erected at the entrance to Pyeongsan Village, and security personnel and police stopped all vehicles heading towards the village to check them one by one.

Vehicles equipped with loudspeakers were not allowed to enter the village.

All visitors were also asked about their destinations and the purpose of their visits. Those with bags had their belongings checked before entering the village, as flammable substances, such as gunpowder, guns, swords, explosives and other dangerous tools are prohibited.

Thanks to the tight security measures, the repetitive, swear-laden shouting of right-wing protesters unhappy with the way Moon ruled the country for five years has all but disappeared from the village.

Only a few YouTubers carrying their smartphones were seen wandering around the village for a live broadcast about the changed atmosphere. One of them was stopped by a security guard as he approached Moon’s house, then later kicked out of the village.

Village residents living around Moon’s house hailed the heightened security measures, saying the village had become quiet again after a long time.

A resident surnamed Shin expressed satisfaction with the return of tranquility, saying, “How good if the village continues to be like this. Wouldn’t it have been better to do it earlier?”

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