The government held an emergency meeting Tuesday after some 25 fire ants were found in a storage container at Busan's Gamman port last week and a nest capable of accommodating 1,000 was found in the same place the following day. Officials have since been carrying out thorough inspections of the entire port but found no additional fire ants.
At the meeting, the vice minister-level officials of the related ministries decided to expand monitoring traps at 22 sea ports across the country and two inland ports, located in the central city of Uiwang and the southeastern city of Yangsan.
Following last week's discovery, the government immediately put a lockdown on containers at the Gamman port. On Tuesday, the government began allowing containers to leave the port following thorough inspections and disinfecting measures.
Officials also said that they will step up efforts to determine where the fire ants came from and how they arrived in the country.
The highly invasive alien red ant species has a sting that can cause severe allergic reactions, including breathing problems that sometimes lead to death. (Yonhap)