Seoul, Beijing to sign deal on consular affairs soon

By 이현정
  • Published : Jun 11, 2014 - 17:38
  • Updated : Jun 11, 2014 - 17:38
South Korea and China are seeking to sign a deal on consular affairs when the leaders from the two nations meet for a summit in Seoul soon, sources said Wednesday.

The agreement mainly calls for the two countries to notify each other within four days when a national from the other country is arrested or detained. Meeting with consular officials will be also allowed within four days, according to the sources.

Following 11-year-long negotiations, the two countries reached the agreement on consular affairs in September 2013.

The two countries previously had made little progress as they could not bridge the gap over whether to cover North Korean defectors and Chinese living in South Korea.

The concept of "a national" was not specified, which made it easier for the two parties to reach the agreement, the sources said.

The alleged torture of a Korean conservative activist by China in 2012 helped the two countries accelerate the process for the deal, according to sources.

Activist Kim Young-hwan claimed he was tortured while in the custody of Chinese security agents in 2012, a charge flatly denied by China. Kim was released after 114 days in detention in the country. (Yonhap)