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China's Shenyang city bans individual visas for S. Korean trips

All Headlines 20:34 July 04, 2017

SHENYANG, China (Yonhap) -- The city of Shenyang in China has recently banned local travel agencies from issuing visas for individual Chinese travelers planning to visit South Korea, the Korean community in China said Tuesday.

The largest city in Liaoning Province issued the recent order to local tour agencies out of worry of possible illegalities involving the agencies' advertisement for individual visa issuance for unauthorized Chinese merchants traveling between China and South Korea, according to the Korean community in the region.

It is China's first prohibition of individual visas for South Korean trips after the country banned travel agencies in March from selling group tours in retaliation for South Korea's deployment of a high-tech U.S. defense shield, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

"Following the tacit order not to issue visas to Chinese groups intending to travel to South Korea, the city of Shenyang handed down the first order, banning issuance of individual visas," a local travel industry insider said on condition of anonymity. "It is mainly intended for explicit advertisement of visas for individual traders, but seems also be in retaliation for the THAAD (deployment)," the official said.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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