• SKorea sets up contingency team to protect citizens abroad

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    THE South Korean government will be forming a contingency team to ensure the security of its nationals abroad, a senior ministry official said.

    The measure was taken following the gruesome killing of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo by a group led by police officers under the pretext of performing anti-illegal drug campaign in the Philippines.

    Han Dong-man, ambassador for Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs, said it is an “urgent nature” to deal with “overseas emergency situations.”

    Officials from their national police agency and other relevant organizations are likely to join the contingency team, according to Han.

    He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also boost the 24-hour call center for consular services.

    “As part of the plan, we seek to establish an emergency situation room to respond in a timely manner toward any incidents, such as terrorist attacks or earthquakes,” Han was quoted as saying by The Korea Times. “It will be especially important to take prompt measures on weekends or at night when crimes are prone to take place more often.”

    Philippine Ambassador to Seoul Raul Hernandez recently paid a courtesy call on officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

    He refused to disclose the details of his meetings, but he said the South Korean government is in constant coordination with the Philippines on Jee’s case.

    There are an estimated 900,000 Korean nationals living in the Philippines. MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO

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