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(LEAD) 23 Thai tourists out of contact after arriving in Muan Int'l Airport

National 16:40 February 06, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES with new disappearance of Thai tourists in paras 1-5; CHANGES number in headline)

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- A total of 23 Thai tourists have gone out of contact after arriving at Muan International Airport in southwestern South Korea over the past week, the justice ministry said Monday.

The ministry said 10 Thais disappeared soon after landing at the Muan airport in Muan, 385 kilometers south of Seoul, on a chartered flight from the Southeast Asian country Monday morning. It said all efforts are under way to find the missing Thais.

Earlier, 13 out of 174 Thai tourists who arrived at Muan International Airport last week have not shown up for their return flight and remained out of contact, according to the ministry.

The 174 Thais landed at the Muan airport on a chartered flight last Monday to visit major tourist attractions in South Jeolla Province.

But 13 of them disappeared soon after their arrival at the airport and did not board their return flight slated for Sunday, the ministry said.

International flights resumed at the Muan airport in July last year after a COVID-19-related hiatus of over two years. Last week's chartered flight from Thailand was the first of its kind to arrive in Muan since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The provincial government of South Jeolla, to which Muan belongs, aims to attract about 2,400 Thai tourists via chartered flights by the end of March but the latest disappearance of some Thai tourists is expected to negatively affect the goal.

This file photo provided by the Muan County Office shows Muan International Airport. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This file photo provided by the Muan County Office shows Muan International Airport. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

ycm@yna.co.kr
(END)

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