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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

'French Spiderman' arrested climbing Lotte World Tower in Seoul - in pictures

Alain Robert involved in 'cat and mouse' chase with security as he scaled a 123-storey skyscraper to celebrate the recent peacemaking efforts between the Koreas

French urban freeclimber Alain Robert attempted to scale the world's fifth-tallest building on Wednesday, getting more than half way up the 123-storey Lotte World Tower in Seoul before security officers forced him to abandon the climb.

The 55-year-old, sometimes called the "French Spiderman", made his way up the building bare-handed and without ropes as staff pursued him from inside.

"I climbed about 75 stories and then after that, it was a bit like cat and mouse," Mr Robert said. "Finally, I decided to surrender."

He was taken to the rooftop on a maintenance cradle and arrested.

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As he awaited processing by police he said his climb was to celebrate the recent peacemaking efforts between the two Koreas, and he hoped the authorities would take that into account.

"I may get a hefty fine but I did it because of what is happening now between South Korea and North Korea," Mr Robert said.

"That is my way of saying thank you to Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in."

In the last two months the leader of nuclear-armed North Korea has twice met the South's president, the two men exchanging smiles and hugs after years of heightened tensions.

The Lotte Tower is the world's fifth tallest building. Ed Jones / AFP Photo
The Lotte Tower is the world's fifth tallest building. Ed Jones / AFP Photo

Mr Robert has scaled more than 100 structures - including the Burj Khalifa - without ropes or other safety equipment, setting a record for "most buildings climbed unassisted" according to Guinness World Records.

Several fire engines and police were sent to the Seoul building after a security guard spotted the French climber.

"It's regrettable," said You In-sik, a spokesman for the Lotte World Tower. "He climbed without permission. It's dangerous."

Mr Robert has suffered several severe falls while climbing and estimates his accidents have left him 66 per cent disabled. He has been arrested numerous times for his exploits.

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