South Korea on Thursday endorsed a revision to the enforcement ordinance of the Passport Act to further tighten its travel bans on several conflict-laden countries, including Iraq and Syria, a move aimed at ensuring the safety of its citizens.
The revision was endorsed during a Cabinet meeting presided over by President Park Geun-hye.
The previous ordinance carried a clause stipulating that South Korean citizens can enter those war-prone countries only when they have to conduct humanitarian activities or support such activities.
But this clause has been deleted in the revised ordinance.
The revision, however, allows citizens to enter such countries when their immediate relatives or relatives of their spouses have died.
The South Korean government has issued travel bans for six countries -- Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and Somalia -- and part of Mindanao, the southernmost major island in the Philippines.
The government has been stepping up efforts to ensure the safety of its citizens due to continued terrorist attacks around the world, persistent conflicts in the Middle East and natural disasters in the Pacific Ocean basin.