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Korean residents in Barcelona calling for reopening of consulate general

All News 18:26 July 25, 2016

SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- Koreans residing in Barcelona are calling for the reopening of a South Korean consulate general there now that it has developed into an economically influential city, the head of an organization of Koreans in Catalonia, said Monday.

Park Cheon-wook, who is on a trip to Seoul, said he recently visited the National Assembly and Foreign Ministry to deliver a letter and documents containing more than 9,200 signatures of South Korean citizens in the region, who have asked for the reopening of the consulate.

At present, some 1,500 Koreans reside in Catalonia, consisting of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona, and some 1,200 South Koreans tour the area on average every day, Park said.

The South Korean consulate general opened in 1988, and closed in 1993, with the reason for the shutdown unknown.

There has been many changes in Barcelona over the last 23 years since the mission's closure, Park said.

"As (Barcelona) has turned into Spain's No. 1 commercial city and an international tourist city, the city now is important to Korean nationals living there and tourists visiting the place," Park said.

Given such circumstances, the reopening of the consulate general is badly needed, he said, adding that Koreans there have to go to Madrid for consular services, which is 650 kilometers from Barcelona, causing great inconvenience and economic losses.

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