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Korean, Vietnamese police launch special teams 

Korean and Vietnamese police authorities have launched special teams to ensure the safety of their respective citizens in each other’s countries, as they seek to enhance bilateral cooperation.

Korean police launched the “Vietnamese Desk” to better support Vietnamese residents in Korea while the Vietnamese authorities installed the “Korean Desk” to better serve Korean residents in the Southeast Asian nation.

These moves came after the police chiefs of the two nations signed a memorandum of understanding over launching the special teams last month.

The Vietnamese Desk in Korean police’s agency has two Vietnamese-speaking Korean police officers who will comprehensively cover Vietnamese-related crimes, whereas four Korean-speaking Vietnamese officers will be dispatched to the Korean Desk.

This is the first time that Korean police has launched a special team dedicated to a particular foreign country. It is the second time that a special probe team for Koreans has been installed in a foreign country -- the first being in the Philippines in 2012.

With the two special police teams, the two sides will share the investigation information and jointly put efforts into nabbing runaway criminals and repatriating them to their home countries, Seoul officials said.

As of this year, more than 1.7 million foreigners reside in Korea, accounting for 3.4 percent of the total population. Of them, Vietnamese comprise 11.5 percent of total foreigners, according to the Interior Ministry.

Some 86,000 Koreans live in Vietnam.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (rene@heraldcorp.com)

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