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Two Secret Service agents were dispatched from Seoul to face discipline after a drunken altercation with a cab driver just before Biden's arrival

US President Joe Biden disembarks from Air Force One at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, On Friday, May 20, 2022.
US President Joe Biden disembarks from Air Force One at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, On Friday, May 20, 2022. Image Credit: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man.

Two US Secret Service staff have been returned to the United States from South Korea and placed on administrative leave following an alleged off-duty incident, the agency told Friday.

"The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees that may have violated policy."A spokesman for the agency Anthony Guglielmi told, "the individuals will be immediately returned to their post of duty and placed on administrative leave."

According to South Korean police, a member of President Joe Biden's security staff "engaged in violence" against a local man near the Grand Hyatt Seoul, where Biden is scheduled to stay during his first trip to Asia. The details have not yet been confirmed by the Secret Service.

Both agents were apparently intoxicated while not on duty. One of the agents then got into a fight with a cab driver.

In South Korea, officials dispatch mediators to low-level disputes to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

President Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speak during a visit to the Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek campus on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
President Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speak during a visit to the Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek campus on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Image Credit: AP Image/Evan Vucci

"The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees that may constitute potential policy violations," USSS chief spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told Fox News. "We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees, and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards."

"We have launched an investigation involving a member of President Biden's security team and a South Korean man," Choi Eul-chan, director of the Yongsan Police Station's detective division, said by phone Friday.

According to South Korean police, the incident occurred around 4:20 a.m. local time on Thursday.

"He once pushed the Korean man." Following the incident, the Korean man filed a police report. Choi stated, "He demanded that the security guard be punished for assaulting him."

Both Secret Service employees have been investigated by local authorities, who intend to "follow through the case based on and according to South Korean law," he added.

According to a source familiar with the incident, the alleged incident, which involved "a variety of people," occurred prior to Biden's arrival in Seoul. According to the source, the two employees were returned to Washington on Friday afternoon local time.

Gugliemi stated that Biden's trip to Asia had "no impact."

"All employees are subject to very strict protocols and policies, and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards." We are unable to comment further because this is an ongoing administrative personnel matter," he added.

Biden arrived in South Korea on Friday and met with President Yoon Suk-yeol before speaking at a Samsung factory in Pyeongtaek. Later in the day, the president will travel to Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

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