Korean Airport Security at Incheon


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cambeul41
July 11, 2011, 07:42 AM
My wife would like to know what firearm she saw Incheon Airport Security carrying. I am sure that some of you can tell us.

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Taurus 617 CCW
July 11, 2011, 07:47 AM
I believe those are H&K UMP sub machineguns. .45 caliber and they really pack a punch.

http://www.hk-usa.com/military_products/ump_general.asp

M-Cameron
July 11, 2011, 07:58 AM
now i havent flown in a few years.......but are armed skirmishes now the norm at the check in counter......or are people really that angry when the airlines loose their baggage.....?



..assault rifles, tactical loadout.......it just seems a bit........excessive.....to me.

steelbird
July 11, 2011, 08:17 AM
Airport security is generally stronger in other countries, and has been that way for a long time. And in the case of South Korea, there is a constant threat from the north, so these guys need to be armed strongly.

cambeul41
July 11, 2011, 09:08 AM
I believe those are H&K UMP sub machineguns. .45 caliber and they really pack a punch.

http://www.hk-usa.com/military_products/ump_general.as

It certainly looks like they have UMPs. Thank you.

Quiet
July 11, 2011, 09:20 AM
My wife would like to know what firearm she saw Incheon Airport Security carrying. I am sure that some of you can tell us.
Those are H&K subguns.
One on left is a H&K MP-5 and the one on the right is a H&K UMP-45.
ROK police SWAT/CT is testing out the H&K UMP-45 and H&K MP-7 as a replacement for the H&K MP-5.

now i havent flown in a few years.......but are armed skirmishes now the norm at the check in counter......or are people really that angry when the airlines loose their baggage.....?

..assault rifles, tactical loadout.......it just seems a bit........excessive.....to me.

Technically, North Korea & South Korea are still at war.
The armistice that ceased hostilities in the Korean War 1950-53 was only good for 20 years. Around the mid-1970s, hostilities re-commenced but on an insurgency/counter-insurgency level.

That said, since the ending of marshal law in South Korea (early-1990s), the ROK Mil stop patroling the airports with Daewoo K-1A1s and K-2s.

The red beret wearing ROK police are SWAT/counter-terrorists. So, if you saw them at the airport, its because they were there on alert for something. They normally don't patrol around the airport.

pikid89
July 11, 2011, 09:24 AM
^ agreed the right gun (UMP) has a straight magazine for the .45, while the left gun (MP5) (kind of obscured) has a clearly visible curved magazine for the 9mm

steveno
July 11, 2011, 09:42 AM
the police at Frankfurt have had submachine guns in the airport there since at least the early 1970's. the reason being Baader-Meinhof (spelling might be a little off) and the Red Army Faction among other groups. it was a fairly common occurence it isn't anything new in other countries.

AWorthyOpponent
July 11, 2011, 09:55 AM
Recently got back from Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. The police at those places all had UMP's or MP5's and walked in groups of two like that(both in the airports and out). Kinda scary when your government won't let you have any guns, but they all have top of the line full auto.

Acera
July 11, 2011, 10:56 AM
Kinda scary when your government won't let you have any guns, but they all have top of the line full auto.

You think they are protecting you, or do think they are controlling you???

parsimonious_instead
July 11, 2011, 12:16 PM
When I read travel guide books, one frequent admonishment is "don't take photographs of or around any airport" especially not of security procedures or personnel.

rbernie
July 11, 2011, 12:57 PM
The politics, management, or effectivity of airport security are not on-topic for THR. Their weaponry is on-topic.

Let's maintain that distinction, please.

Dan Forrester
July 11, 2011, 01:03 PM
I was in mainland China, Macau, and Hong Kong a little less than a year ago.

In Macau the cops were carrying something (a revolver I believe) in a well covered flap holster. The casino cops were carrying what looked like first generation Glocks.

In Hong Kong the cops carried stainless revolvers. While I was there I just so happened to see the Ukrainian president there with his guards plus Hong Kong police on BMW R series bikes. The HK police had there revolvers the Ukrainian president’s guards were wearing dress jackets so who knows what they had under there or in the three cars they were traveling in.

In Mainland China I didn’t see a gun the entire two weeks I was there. All I saw was two adds for guns in two different places (rural countryside were talking) on the sides of buildings: one for a “bird hunting gun” and another for a “homemade gun” (my girlfriend translated) with phone numbers.

It was refreshing to not see all this militarization of the police or phony “War on Terror” BS everywhere you looked.

Dan

IlikeSA
July 11, 2011, 01:52 PM
When was the picture taken? I have also seen them carrying the Daewoo version of the M4.

When I was going back to Korea about 3 years ago, they stopped me for a "sword." It was a gerber folder with a 3 inch blade. They were all concerned about it, even bringing in a supervisor, asking "why do you need it?" I explained I enjoyed camping, hiking, and fishing, and they were still very concerned. Eventually I showed my state issued firearms license, telling them I carry guns in the US, and am authorized in my state to do so. They took it well, and let me keep it, warning me to travel by train and not by air with it (there is NO security/metal detectors) in the trains or stations. Funniest thing of all was that they didn't say a thing about my Cold Steel trail hawk sitting in the bag.

Cosmoline
July 11, 2011, 02:00 PM
They are stylin', that's for sure.

oldbear
July 11, 2011, 03:11 PM
The United States is one of the few countries where police/ government security personal don't openly carry long guns. NYC, after September 11, 2001, is the only exception I know of, there may well be others.

AethelstanAegen
July 11, 2011, 03:31 PM
the police at Frankfurt have had submachine guns in the airport there since at least the early 1970's.

+1 When I lived in Munich, Germany (the mid-1990s) it was not uncommon to see airport police with MP-5 submachine guns. In fact, I don't think I ever went to the airport there without seeing them thus armed. IIRC (and bear with me as I was young) the few times I was at Heathrow Airport (London), you'd occassionaly spot armed police also with MP-5s.

NoirFan
July 11, 2011, 04:11 PM
The United States is one of the few countries where police/ government security personal don't openly carry long guns.

Honestly, I don't see what's wrong with police openly carrying long guns. Most importantly they make shooting accurately much easier, resulting in reduced danger to the public. We all read about gunfights where police expend dozens of missed rounds from their handguns, and God knows where most of those bullets go.

And for those against the 'militarization' of police, what makes an SMG more militaristic than a pistol? Isn't labeling guns based on appearance something the antis do?

In Mainland China I didn’t see a gun the entire two weeks I was there.

In Beijing you'll sometimes see riot police armed with shotguns and bullpup rifles standing around on street corners. Beat cops do not carry guns, however I once saw a beat cop doing foot patrol with an honest to God 6-foot bo staff. I guess in a gunless society, the staff becomes the king of weapons.

Cosmoline
July 11, 2011, 04:34 PM
The Chinese arms issue has more to do with the peculiar structure of law enforcement in the quasi-communist state than any adherence to non-violence. The armed police are a branch of the PLA as I understand it, and would likely object to the lesser beat cops getting firearms. And I believe the MPS and county mounty equivalent are low man on totem, lucky to get an antiquated sidearm to share.

Locally, I've seen a lot more cops toting long arms. It seems to be SOP for responding to violent situations. And it's not a bad idea.

The "G20" sign behind those guys may also have something to do with their level of arms.

Apocalypse-Now
July 11, 2011, 04:42 PM
airsoft.

sure that pic wasn't taken at a mall in korea? :D

il_10
July 11, 2011, 04:59 PM
^ that would explain the aimpoint positioned behind the eotech on the UMP. I can't figure out why anyone would do that or how you would use those two in conjunction with each other... especially with the aimpoint setup so the dot would be on top of the eotech's cover...

Bovice
July 11, 2011, 05:06 PM
That's not an Aimpoint behind the Eotech. It's a magnifier.

steelbird
July 11, 2011, 05:06 PM
Forgot to mention my experience in the Philippines- about 12 years ago, saw submachine guns, but the shotguns of the "streetsweeper" type seemed to be more common. Of course, they've been dealing with the Moros, Communists and the Abus for years.

medalguy
July 11, 2011, 06:42 PM
I was through Taipei and Hong Kong quite a bit back in the mid 80's and it was common for cops in Kai Tak airport to carry MP5's. Also a few times I ventured over into mainland China and the border guards carried SMG's although I don't recall what type.

Gives you a funny feeling when they sit behind that big tall desk looking at your passpost, thumbing through a big book, and guards talking animatedly back and forth looking at you. Conversely, a very warm fuzzy feeling when they hand back your passport and wave towards the train. Kinda like walking thru JFK these days.

It was pretty common as far back as 1980 for overseas security personnel to carry some pretty heavy ordnance. I assume most of them are even better armed today.

cambeul41
July 11, 2011, 08:37 PM
When I read travel guide books, one frequent admonishment is "don't take photographs of or around any airport" especially not of security procedures or personnel.

sure that pic wasn't taken at a mall in korea?

I have no idea when or where the picture was taken, my wife got it from the internet and says she is positive that these were the uniforms and weapons she saw.

azmjs
July 11, 2011, 09:25 PM
In Hong Kong airport, the roving tactical patrols have mp5s with aimpoints.

azmjs
July 11, 2011, 09:31 PM
It was pretty common as far back as 1980 for overseas security personnel to carry some pretty heavy ordnance. I assume most of them are even better armed today.

The HK/PRC border crossing guards don't really display firepower anymore. I was in one of the crossings, i think the Zhuhai/Macau one, when the power went out once and I was kind of disappointed that they didn't have squads rush out or anything.

Government/military buildings with guard stands usually have a guy in a dressy uniform with a closed holster, sometimes a guy with one of the type97 rifles.

Normal Chinese cops don't carry sidearms.

paramedic70002
July 12, 2011, 10:44 AM
Off topic but I find it curious that one of them is only identified as "POLICE" (in English) without even the oriental designator above it like his partner.

cleardiddion
July 12, 2011, 11:47 PM
Off topic but I find it curious that one of them is only identified as "POLICE" (in English) without even the oriental designator above it like his partner.

It's because it's an international airport and the fact that English is required curriculum in Korea helps.

Last time I was around a couple years ago it wasn't out of place to see federal troops up and about. Then again, that's when there was some saber rattling coming from the north.

Ben86
July 12, 2011, 11:50 PM
That is definitely one HK MP5 and UMP45. Nice weapons. Heavy security for an airport, they must have been on alert.

The South Korean military is pretty formidable, they sure do ruff up African pirates and keep North Koreans at bay effectively.

Ignition Override
July 13, 2011, 02:26 AM
Yes, as "steveno" stated, the police in Frankfurt Airport (FRA) carried those guns and even in the early 80's.

ZCORR Jay
July 13, 2011, 07:38 AM
The UMP looks like it would be a fun gun. I've never flown internationally so I don't have any crazy airport stories.

olafhardtB
July 13, 2011, 09:57 AM
Those are German-Korean knock-offs of Hipoints.

Panzercat
July 13, 2011, 12:38 PM
Is it just me or hasn't anybody gone to a major US airport lately? I'm pretty sure you can now find a patrol or two that looks pretty much like those guys in the pic. Minus the red "shoot me" berets. Of course, you can go through Singapore's Changi airport and see virtually the same thing. Don't ever recall any show of force like that in Japan, or even Hong Kong, however...

Ben86
July 13, 2011, 01:40 PM
Is it just me or hasn't anybody gone to a major US airport lately? I'm pretty sure you can now find a patrol or two that looks pretty much like those guys in the pic.

I was recently in New Orleans Int. and Dallas/Fortworth and saw no such weaponry. There were only sidearms. In Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh city's (Vietnam) airports I saw no guns.

max popenker
July 14, 2011, 09:58 AM
French police routinely patrols Paris, wearing heavy body armor and armed with HK MP5's and 40mm single-shot stand-alone grenade launcres (possibly for less-lethal use)

withdrawn34
July 14, 2011, 02:27 PM
I would hope no one would combine LTL and lethal in the same weapon - that's just asking for disaster. Also one of the reasons I don't think a Star Trek phaser could ever work in real life. How do they not ever get stun and kill mixed up?

Tommygunn
July 14, 2011, 07:29 PM
I don't think a Star Trek phaser could ever work in real life. How do they not ever get stun and kill mixed up?

The captain orders the setting the phasers must be set to. Each phaser has a setting 0-9, "0" being "off" or safe.
0.= OFF
1.=Low Stun
2.=Medium Stun
3.= UV Torch.
4.= Phaser Low (kills simple, weak life forms)
5.= Heavy Stun
6.= Phaser Medium (kills more robust life forms [and some lawyers])
7.= Phaser Heat (warms rocks in survival situation or makes coffee)
8.= Phaser High (kills robust life forms, ie., klingons, politicians, IRS inspectors)
9.= Overload.

Note, do not use setting 9. if you can't throw the thing beyond blast radius.
BTW, that figure is classified.

Diggers
July 14, 2011, 07:50 PM
Well they got the "I'm a bada$$" style down, you have to give them that. Wearing their shades inside is a nice touch.

Those guys look like they should be in the next GI Joe movie.

AethelstanAegen
July 14, 2011, 08:32 PM
It seems to me that in recent years seeing such heavily armed police isn't that uncommon. I know I've seen cops on patrol with M4 (or maybe some AR varient) here in DC before, certainly around federal buildings. I do think I've seen US police so armed at Dulles before as well but that could have been some sort of heightened alert day.

Murphy4570
July 14, 2011, 09:38 PM
And for those against the 'militarization' of police, what makes an SMG more militaristic than a pistol? Isn't labeling guns based on appearance something the antis do?

I believe that argument stems more from the way police forces are organized and trained these days (particularly SWAT-type units), than the firearms they utilize.

Daemon688
July 14, 2011, 10:28 PM
Well armed cops like that are a semi-common sight in NYC, mostly at busier hubs like grand central, penn station, or when important people are in town. I've also seen cops armed like that at US airports. There most certainly armed cops in China, most unarmed, and the heavily armed ones I saw were outside some of the government buildings.

withdrawn34
July 14, 2011, 11:18 PM
To be honest, I'm not sure what the purpose of these people are. The likelihood of someone coming into an airport and shooting up the place is unlikely. Airports can close down and isolate sections fairly quickly. I would think a terrorist would be more likely to use an explosive - something that a simple officer, no matter how heavily armed, cannot really prevent. In that case, a bomb sniffing dog is more useful, but then, you don't need a SMG and full body armor. The dog doesn't really care what you are wearing.

Is someone "on a mission from God" going to really care how heavily armed police and security is?

After 9/11, you had heavily armed officers patrolling the streets. Why? Was a 5.56 round and full body armor going to bring down a hijacked plane?

So, what is the purpose of these folks? Other countries can decide what is right for themselves, but as for me, I'd rather not see paramilitary in our airports. I can understand a small group standing by in case of some criminal scenario happening on a plane, but otherwise, I don't think they need to be out in the open.

Sebastian the Ibis
July 14, 2011, 11:43 PM
Did you see if the mags were loaded?

I remember going through Singapore, a whole swat-like team came marching through. Every mag had blue tape on it, if you got a glimpse at the back of the mag you could see there were no bullets in the mag in the gun, and the from the side you could see the followers of the mags in their chest rigs- no bullets either.

I sure hope the guns were not real, or else you may have a Hurricane Andrew type situation where a couple of gang bangers relieved the national guardsmen on their M16's with their loaded hi points.

AethelstanAegen
July 15, 2011, 06:58 PM
The likelihood of someone coming into an airport and shooting up the place is unlikely.

This is in part because of armed police units as discussed in this thread. There was an attack by armed terrorists on the Lod Airport in 1972 (killing 26 and wounding 79). Recent attacks like in Mumbai, India also indicate that terrorists are willing to use other approaches rather than just bombs. In general, a police squad armed with submachine guns or assualt rifles is a pretty effective deterent to any sort of shenanigans.

DC3-CVN-72
July 15, 2011, 11:43 PM
I work for an airline @ midway airport in Chicago. I was working on 9-11-01. I watched the 2nd. plane hit the next tower live on our break room t.v. The whole airport was locked down. For the next month or so the regular airport beat cops were wearing riot helmets without the face Shields and also carried Ruger minni-14 teens. After that things pretty much returned to normal. :)

Ben86
July 15, 2011, 11:59 PM
minni-14 teens

Is that like the teenager version? :D Youth model perhaps?

DC3-CVN-72
July 16, 2011, 02:03 AM
Ya, probaly, I'm no x-pert !:neener:

Sheldon J
July 16, 2011, 06:41 PM
BTDT and all I can say is they are far nicer at Inchon than they were at LAX... I had to use a cane and had a knee brace and they made special arrangements for me as soon as they saw me, I did not have to ask... Their airlines are nicer and they use real silverware not plastic.....

Ben86
July 16, 2011, 11:57 PM
Their airlines are nicer and they use real silverware not plastic.....

Same for Japanese Airlines. Real metal knives! The airport staff and stewardesses are so nice and helpful as well. They make the American Airlines crew look like a bunch of overly aggressive robots who can't wait to get you off their plane.

Stope Rat
July 17, 2011, 11:09 PM
The real explanation for why they are so geared-up is on the sign behind them. Looks like this photo was taken during the G20 Summit conference.

Tons of politicians, heads of state, bigwigs around, so security was out the wazoo.

CWL
July 18, 2011, 12:42 AM
I travel through S. Korea a few times a year on business, no, the SWAT police are not normally visible, but I think that they are always present but out of sight. The ROK is one of the toughest militaries in the world and their paramilitary police units are trained to engage North Korean Special Forces infiltration. It makes me feel safer to know that they are around.

BTW, the Germans didn't start upgunning their police & airport security until after the Munich Olympics Massacre (1972) when it became obvious how underprepared and untrained they were for handling any terrorist or hijacking events.

TexasBill
July 18, 2011, 08:31 AM
...They make the American Airlines crew look like a bunch of overly aggressive robots who can't wait to get you off their plane.

Ben, the American Airlines crew is a bunch of overly aggressive robots who can't wait to get you off their plane.

While we in America are used to armed police, we're used to handguns safely tucked away in holsters. A lot of people freak out if they see a cop with a long gun unless there is an immediately obvious situation requiring them.

In addition, most U.S. police departments probably would be reluctant to deploy non-special-unit officers with automatic weapons, even in high-crime areas.

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