South Korea and Thailand are planning to conduct consular talks to address recent complaints made by Thai nationals who claim they have been treated unfairly by South Korean immigration services. This announcement was made by Seoul’s foreign ministry on a Saturday.
Both countries have agreed to conduct the talks between the directors-general for consular affairs from their foreign ministries. The decision to hold these talks was prompted by the widespread complaints on social media, where the hashtag “ban Korea travel” gained popularity on the X platform in Thailand.
Based on the posts, Thai nationals have reported incidents where they were unfairly denied entry or subjected to rigorous screening procedures at immigration points in South Korea.
Seoul’s justice ministry has emphasized the importance of screening for potential illegal immigrants, pointing out that approximately 78 percent of all visitors from Thailand are currently staying in South Korea illegally.
The Seoul ministry stated that preventing illegal stays of foreign visitors is a fundamental government responsibility. It has been reported that Seoul and Bangkok will address the issue of Thai nationals residing illegally in South Korea during their forthcoming consular talks.
The decision to conduct the consular talks was made during the fourth round of bilateral policy consultations led by First Vice Foreign Minister Chang Ho-jin and Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Sarun Charoensuwan in Bangkok on Friday, as confirmed by the ministry.