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Korea to change passport design from 2020

The South Korean passport cover will shed its green color and change to a navy shade for the first time in 32 years.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Wednesday that it aims to launch the new passport design in 2020.

The design, by Seoul National University professor Kim Soo-jung, was the winner of the 2007 contest to pick designs to improve the current Korean passport.

The current Korean passport on the left, the new design on the right. (Yonhap)
The current Korean passport on the left, the new design on the right. (Yonhap)

Opinions have abounded in the past on the color of the Korean passport. A public petition was submitted this March on the Cheong Wa Dae website claiming that the majority of the nations that have adopted green-colored passports are Islamic, and that the color does not suit the culture of South Korea, where the Islam faith is a minority.

In addition to a new color, the renewed Korean passport will also have electronic chips that enable faster processing at gates. Each page of the new passport will have illustrations of Korea’s cultural heritage. The exact items to be featured in the illustrations are still under discussion, as well as the specific tone of colors and text fonts.

The Culture Ministry plans to finish aligning the details of the design this year.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (
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Korea Herald daum