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‘French Spiderman’ Arrested After Trying to Scale a Skyscraper in South Korea

2 minute read

An urban free-climber known as the “French Spiderman” made it halfway up the world’s fifth highest building before security forced him to abandon the skyscraper in the South Korean capital.

Barehanded and with no ropes, Alain Robert was attempting scale the 123-storey Lotte World Tower in Seoul, but the 55-year-old was chased down by workers inside the building, intercepted and arrested, Agence France-Presse reports.

“I climbed about 75 stories and then after that, it was a bit like cat and mouse,” Robert told AFP. “Finally, I decided to surrender.”

Robert told AFP that his climb was intended to celebrate the recent peace initiatives between North and South Korea.

“I may get a hefty fine… but I did it because of what is happening now between South Korea and North Korea,” Robert said. “That is my way of saying thank you to Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in.”

The leaders of North and South Korea have made recent steps toward reconciliation following years of frosty relations. Next week, President Trump is slated to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore for a historic summit to discuss denuclearization.

Having scaled over 100 structures without any safety equipment, Robert holds a Guinness World Record for most buildings climbed unassisted. His triumphs include the Eiffel Tower, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

But Robert has also suffered from a number of accidents that says have left him partially disabled.

“It’s regrettable,” said You In-sik, a spokesman for the Lotte World Tower, according to AFP. “He climbed without permission. It’s dangerous.”

Robert has been arrested several times for his prior escapades.

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