The Korean Ministry of Justice proposed in June to get rid of visa-free travel by Thais due to so many overstays, however the suggestion was shot by the South Korean government down. (Photo via visitkorea.or.kr)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed rumours in the social media marketing that South Korea planned to avoid giving a visa waiver to Thais which includes experienced effect since 1981 because of the influx of refugees and illegal immigrants.
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Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks said yesterday that the ministry has yet to get any notification from South Korea concerning the rumoured termination of the visa waiver.
She insisted the visa waiver agreement between South and Thailand Korea remains in place.
According to South Korea’s mass circulation Chosun Ilbo daily, the Korean Ministry of Justice lobbied to get rid of the visa-free entry for Thais.
“Back June, when xenophobia reached fever pitch as a result of arrival of a large number of Yemeni refugees on Jeju Island, the Justice Ministry considered suspending or cancelling the visa waiver for a few nationals that are susceptible to outstaying their welcome,week ” the newspaper reported last.
“Thais topped the list given that they make up around 100,000 around 310,000 illegal immigrants in South Korea.”
But the attempt failed once the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs intervened.
“The Justice Ministry relented when confronted with opposition from the Foreign Ministry, which argued that Thailand is really a major partner in South Korea’s foreign policy and a primary stopover on the escape route of North Korean defectors,” reported the Chosun Ilbo.
“If Seoul unilaterally suspended the reciprocal visa waiver, this may have caused a diplomatic dispute with Thailand, a significant destination for 1.year 71 million South Korean tourists last.”
Ms Busadee, however, warned Thai passport holders that South Korean immigration authorities screen visitors upon arrival strictly, and urged Thais to stick to South Korea’s immigration law.
Statistics Korea reported that Thais will be the No recently. 1 overstayers in the national country. It estimated some 65,000 Thais now have remained at night 90-day limit allowed with the visa-free entry illegally.