‘Gangnam style’ tourist police introduced in South Korea
South Korea today launched its new “tourist police” force, who sport uniforms designed by K-pop Psy’s costume designer.
To celebrate the launch of this new division a police drill unit performed the singer’s signature horse-riding dance to his hit song Gangnam Style at an inaugural ceremony in central Seoul.
The first batch of 100 young policemen and women were picked for their linguistic skills, and can speak a range of languages including English, Japanese and Mandarin.
Each officer will wear a badge denoting their language expertise on their specially designed dark-blue uniform, created by one of the costume designers for the “Gangnam Style” pop star.
“Those who think they were overcharged by taxi drivers or street food vendors can come and talk to us. We will help settle the problem,” English-speaking recruit Park Jae-hyoung told the Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“The tourist police wasn’t created because this country is unsafe,” Lee Charm, president of the Korea Tourism Organization told the new recruits.
“You are ambassadors who promote how safe this country is,” he said.
“From now on, you guys will be very busy having pictures taken with tourists.”
The police are unarmed.
The number of foreign travellers to South Korea has steadily increased over the last decade, and 2012 was a record year for the Asian nation with more than 11 million international tourists visiting.
The song Gangnam Style was released last summer and made singer Psy an international star.
It is the most popular video of all time on YouTube with nearly 1.8 billion views.