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Briton who climbed Korean skyscraper planned to parachute off then flee country

George King-Thompson dreamt of climbing Lotte World Tower while in prison for climbing the Shard, according to his sponsor.

A British man arrested while climbing the world’s fifth-tallest skyscraper in South Korea without a harness planned to parachute off the top then evade police and escape the country by plane.

George King-Thompson, 24, was arrested in Seoul on Monday after climbing the 123-storey, 1,820ft (555m) Lotte World Tower – an ascent he dreamt of while in prison for scaling the Shard in London, according to a statement shared by his sponsor.

The 24-year-old, from Oxford, was wearing a parachute and planned to jump from the top of the building – but reached the 72nd floor before being detained.

After “years of dreaming” and “months of planning”, Mr King-Thompson was then going to evade Korean authorities and catch a flight out of the country to escape arrest.

Mr King-Thompson reached the 72nd floor of the building (Riot E-liquid)

“This is the most exhilarating stunt I’ve ever done,” Mr King-Thompson said in the statement shared by Riot E-liquid, the vape brand that sponsors him.

“The climb is fraught with danger, and if I pull it off, I have to get out of the country asap to avoid arrest.”

According to his sponsor, Mr King-Thompson dreamed of performing the stunt while in Pentonville Prison for three months as punishment for scaling the Shard in July 2019.

In August 2021, the same year he was released from prison, Mr King-Thompson climbed the 23-storey Unex Tower in Stratford, east London, without ropes, nine days after doing the same at the neighbouring Stratosphere Tower.

Footage shared on Monday showed the climber in shorts scaling the tower in South Korea as 90 emergency, police and other personnel were dispatched to the scene, according to the local fire service.

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