SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's justice ministry has changed its regulations to permanently ban entry into the country any foreigners convicted of sex offenses, the ministry said Sunday.
Those convicted of sex offenses while staying in the country will also be subject to an immediate deportation, according to the ministry.
"This means a foreigner convicted of a sex offense here or in any other countries will immediately be deported and will never be allowed to come back to South Korea," a ministry official said, asking not to be identified.
Foreigners convicted of other crimes are also subject to deportation, but they can still re-enter the country after a five-year waiting period.
Two foreign residents confirmed to have committed sex offenses in the past have been deported and forever banned for entering the country again since the ministry changed its regulations last month, the ministry official said.
The move came as the number of sex offenses committed by foreign residents has been on a sharp rise while there have been cases where people expatriated following their convictions here tried to re-enter the country through illegal means.
The number of sex offenses by foreign residents here increased 11 percent last year from a year before, according to the ministry official.
Over 1.1 million foreigners were staying in South Korea as of May 2009.
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