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Travel ban on Iraq, Syria extended for six months

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said its travel ban on South Koreans in Iraq and Syria will be extended for six months, as geopolitical risks and instability are likely to continue in the region.

The ministry held a visa policy commission meeting on Monday and decided that travel ban on Iraq will be extended for six months from Feb. 6, and that on Syria, from Feb. 29.

South Korea imposed the travel ban on Iraq on Aug. 7, 2007, and on Syria on Aug. 30, 2011.

The ministry said its decision came as terrorist acts such as bombings are happening more frequently since the withdrawal of the U.S. military from Iraq and suppression of anti-government protests have intensified in Syria.

Currently, Korea bans traveling to five countries ― Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen being the other three.

The commission will review the ban if circumstances in the region improve, the ministry said.

By Kim Yoon-mi  (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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