by Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA — The South Korean government is planning to implement a relaxed visa measure for citizens of the 10-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries, the state-funded Yonhap News Agency said in a report.
Yonhap reported on December 12 that four major policy measures, including “a new visa program with Southeast Asian countries” and the expansion of South Korea’s visa-free stay program to regional airports have been discussed during a Korean government meeting on strategies to promote regional tourism.
Quoting a government release, Yonhap also noted Seoul’s plans to sign a treaty with Asean “to allow young people from the region to enjoy regional tours and language studies while staying in South Korea up to one year”.
Asean member states include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The report also mentioned Seoul’s plan to launch new flight routes connecting South Korea’s regional airports to Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia “while newly allowing foreigners to stay up to 72 hours at South Korean regional airports without a visa starting in 2020”.
When asked to confirm, South Korean officials in Manila said they are still awaiting information from Seoul.
“About the news item, we are still waiting for an official statement to come from the headquarters in Korea,” the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) said in an e-mail to the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday.
KCC is under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines. (PNA)