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Press Releases

On Fourth Day of 2023 Meeting of Heads of Overseas Diplomatic Missions, Discussions were Held on Ways to Establish Global Community of Koreans through Protection of Overseas Korean Nationals and Support for Overseas Koreans

Date
2023-03-31
hit
7711

1. On March 30, the fourth day of the meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a discussion attended by the mission chiefs and officials from the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry. The participants exchanged their views on ways to strengthen the capacity for protecting overseas Korean nationals and supporting overseas Koreans in order for the missions to effectively respond to changes in the surrounding environment, such as the advent of the post-COVID era and the establishment of tentatively named ‘Overseas Koreans Service.’


2. Deputy-Minister for Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs Choi Yeonghan and other officials from the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry emphasized that it is important for the diplomatic missions to be well prepared to protect overseas Korean nationals, as the number of Korean nationals traveling overseas has increased rapidly due to the relaxation of quarantine policies in other countries. Particularly, they called for responding in a proactive and timely manner to large-scale emergency situations, including natural disasters, terrorism, and wars, and enhancing the capacity to address issues that have significant social repercussions, such as drugs, hate crimes, and kidnapping by pirates. 


o In addition, the officials explained that at the headquarters level, efforts are being made to continue to strengthen collaboration and cooperation with not only related government agencies but also the private sector to effectively respond to the increasingly complex and diverse emergency situations. 


o The officials also shared the progress in establishing the ‘Overseas Koreans Service’ and its roles and functions, and explained that through it, the Foreign Ministry will strengthen tailored policies for overseas Koreans in each region and provide more convenient service by establishing a one-stop service system for people. The officials also requested that the diplomatic missions work closely with the ‘Overseas Koreans Service’ to promote the rights and convenience of overseas Koreans.


3. During a session on cases of diplomatic missions, the participants shared their experiences in addressing issues that recently drew national attention, such as protecting Korean nationals during war, preventing crimes related to drugs in foreign countries, and responding to large-scale emergencies and accidents.


o Ambassador to Ukraine Kim Hyung-tae explained that since one month before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the embassy has taken preemptive measures, including providing safety information, distributing emergency supplies, preparing shelters for Korean nationals, and encouraging them to leave the country. He also introduced how the embassy has been helping Korean nationals to evacuate in cooperation with neighboring diplomatic missions since the outbreak of the war.


o Next, Ambassador to Thailand Moon Seoung-hyun explained that amid the growing need to protect Korean nationals following the legalization of marijuana use in Thailand in June last year, the embassy took measures, such as strengthening informative activities for Korean nationals and establishing a close cooperation system with relevant agencies in Thailand.


o Lastly, Ambassador to Türkiye Lee Won Ik shared his experiences in protecting overseas Korean nationals during large-scale disasters, explaining how the embassy checked the safety of Korean nationals, maintained communication networks, and provided support for their evacuation after the strong earthquake on February 6.


4. During a free discussion after the presentations, the mission chiefs agreed that strengthening the diplomatic missions’ response capacity is crucial, given the growing social interest in the safety of the people and expectations for the government's duty to protect them. 


5. The mission heads agreed on the need to strengthen policies for overseas Koreans. They also committed to actively participate in and contribute to the efforts of the ‘Overseas Koreans Service’ to develop and implement projects.