S. Korea weighs travel ban on violence-ravaged Libya

By 옥현주
  • Published : Jul 29, 2014 - 14:02
  • Updated : Jul 29, 2014 - 14:02

South Korea is considering imposing a travel ban on Libya again as spiraling violence in the African country has raised security concerns, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Seoul's foreign ministry said it plans to hold a meeting as early as Wednesday to decide whether to raise its travel alert for Libya by one notch to the highest level.

Since mid-July, South Korea, which has a four-tier travel advisory system, has strongly recommended that local companies withdraw their staffs or reduce the number of their workers at an early date, the ministry said.

In 2011, Seoul put a travel ban on Libya amid intense anti-government protests and lifted it at the end of that year.

"The move would require all Korean nationals staying there to leave Libya within a certain period of time," a ministry official said.

The move comes as intensifying violence between armed militias in the city of Tripoli has raised alertness about security there.

The United Nations and the United States have withdrawn their staffs and nationals from Libya, and some countries have told their citizens to leave, according to foreign reports.

Seoul's foreign ministry said that it will seek to consult with authorities in Tunisia to check land routes for evacuation.

Currently, about 20 Korean companies, mostly builders, are doing business in Libya with an estimated 900 South Koreans staying there. (Yonhap)