SEOUL — A pair of large-scale gatherings with vastly different goals has U.S. Embassy officials warning American citizens to exercise caution in coming days.

The first event is the annual Seoul International Marathon, scheduled for Sunday. The race is expected to draw more than 20,000 runners of all skill levels and thousands of volunteers to help staff the event.

The race begins near the Sejong Cultural Center across the street from U.S. Embassy, then winds its way through a course both inside and on the outskirts of Seoul. Downtown streets will be blocked or diverted for several hours Sunday morning as the race progresses.

Two days later, on Tuesday, a large gathering of a different kind will take place near City Hall. More than 10,000 demonstrators are expected to gather and protest the South Korean government’s plans to move several government agencies out of Seoul.

Demonstrations in South Korea, as the Embassy noted, have “on occasion become confrontational or violent.” Hundreds of South Korean riot police will be on the scene and could divert traffic at any time.

“Americans and their family members should exercise caution and avoid gatherings of large groups in order to minimize risk to their personal safety,” the Embassy message read.

“Streets may also close without warning on orders of the local police.”

The demonstration is scheduled to begin at noon.

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