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S. Korea to consider travel warning for Japan: ministry

Diplomacy 16:33 August 06, 2019

By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea could consider issuing a travel advisory for Japan if necessary to ensure the safety of its citizens amid an escalating trade and diplomatic row with Tokyo, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Kim In-chul made the remark after a special committee of the ruling Democratic Party said it has asked the ministry to consider discouraging travel to regions in Japan with high risks of radioactive contamination.

"The safety of our nationals and travellers overseas is the highest priority for the foreign ministry," Kim told a press briefing. "We plan to review measures, including issuing a travel warning, sending additional safety messages and putting up more posts on the consular website, if necessary, to ensure the safety of our citizens."

Relations between the two countries have dipped to one of the lowest points ever after Japan slapped restrictions on some South Korea-bound exports last month in apparent retaliation over a row surrounding wartime forced labor.

On Monday, the foreign ministry said it began a text message service to its nationals visiting Japan advising not to go near places where anti-South Korea protests may take place.

In regards to the recent remark by Japan's deputy foreign minister Masahisa Sato calling President Moon Jae-in's comments "undignified", the ministry said "it is an irresponsible comment from a high-level diplomatic official who should be managing the bilateral relations."

Sato was referring to Moon's comment that South Korea "will not sit idle and watch the perpetrator claiming with a loud voice to be a victim."

Yet South Korea still expects Japan to discuss the matter toward a rational resolution and is making continued efforts to make that happen, the ministry added.

Foreign ministry spokesman Kim In-chul speaks during a regular press briefing in Seoul on April 23, 2019. (Yonhap)


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