Police Dismiss Bomb Threat That Targeted Shohei Ohtani in Seoul

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Shohei Ohtani, the recently married and well remunerated Japanese star baseball player of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is beloved by many around the world. But ahead of the MLB’s season opener in Seoul on Wednesday, he was the target of a bomb threat that has since been dismissed by local authorities.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that at around 6:08 a.m. local time, about 13 hours before the game’s scheduled start, an employee of the South Korean consulate in Vancouver reported to police that he had received an English-language email threatening to explode a bomb during the game to harm Ohtani. Yonhap reported that the sender claimed to be a Japanese lawyer, adding that police believe the email may have come from a user from Japan who also sent similarly threatening emails last year.

However, authorities found the threat to be not credible, the Los Angeles Times reported. And local police found no explosives at Seoul’s Gocheok Sky Dome, the Associated Press reported, after they deployed about 150 officers who used sniffer dogs, X-ray detectors, and other tools to detect anything suspicious.

“The safety and security of our fans and everyone in the ballparks where we play are always our first priority,” the league said in a statement to the Times, with a spokesperson confirming that the game will go ahead as planned. “MLB Security works closely with local officials to ensure a safe environment for all those who attend our games. MLB, along with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency and other local officials, will continue to monitor the situation closely and take any appropriate steps throughout the event.”

Local police said about 350 officers will be deployed when the game starts, according to the AP.

The MLB is starting its season for the first time in Seoul, with two games on March 20 and March 21 between the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to attend each night to watch Ohtani and his teammates and opponents play.

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