Press Briefing

Deputy Spokesperson Han Hye-jin
Jul. 31, 2014 14:30 KST

Good afternoon. Let me start today’s briefing.

Today, I have two announcements to make.

For starters, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Tae-yong will attend the international academic conference titled “One Asia Convention Jeju 2014” in Jeju-do on August 1 and 2.

On August 2, the Vice Minister will deliver welcoming remarks themed “one Asia” and speak about the vision of the government of the Republic of Korea to build an Asian community as well as its Northeast Peace and Cooperation Initiative.

For your information, the “One Asia Convention” is an international conference where college professors and other experts from Asia gather to seek specific ways to build an Asian community.

The Convention first took place in Tokyo, Japan, in 2011 at the initiative of the country’s One Asia Foundation. The upcoming round will mark the fourth of its kind.

Moving on to the second and last announcement, the Foreign Ministry will hold two rounds of the “Foreign Ministry workshop for college students” at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy from August 4 through 22.

A total of 100-odd college sophomores, juniors and seniors selected from those recommended by colleges in the ROK will participate in the workshop.

The workshop will consist of lectures on the ROK’s key diplomatic issues, including those involving Dokdo and the name of the East Sea, as well as on various regional and global organizations.

The participants will also attend a model international conference in English.

The workshop is expected to help the students gain a broader view of the world and expand their presence on the international stage.

This is all for my opening statement.

[Q&A]

Q: The Ebola virus appears to be spreading to across the world, with a suspected Ebola patient found in Hong Kong. What measures, if any, is the ROK Foreign Ministry taking in that regard?

A: As you have just said, the Ebola virus is emerging as a big issue. The ROK government, led by the public healthcare authorities, is keeping a close eye on relevant developments. The government will seriously mull over whether to take measures in response.

Q: I recall that travel alerts were issued for two countries some time ago over this Ebola virus issue.

A: Could you specify when?

Q: I do not remember the exact date other than that it was some time ago, probably this summer or spring. The Ebola virus has spread to three countries so far. No travel alert seems to have been issued for one of the three countries, although I do not remember which country that is. Could you tell us if a travel alert will be issued for that country? If so, when?

A: Well, as I have just mentioned, the ROK government is aware of the gravity of that issue and thus is carefully mulling over relevant matters.

Q: I understand that a travel ban has been imposed on Libya, effective from yesterday. Will the ROK nationals be withdrawn from the country by land, sea or air? What is the ROK Foreign Ministry’s specific plan in that regard?

A: As already informed to you, the Passport Policy Commission has decided to once again put a travel ban on Libya, which means that ROK nationals in effect are banned from traveling to the country.

You must be worried about Korean business people working in Libya. I believe the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport gave an explanation in this regard today. With regard to the possibility of gradually withdrawing Korean employees of construction companies operating in the country and Korean business people there, the government is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of those ROK nationals in consultation with the companies concerned.

In terms of whether those ROK nationals will be drawn by land, sea or air, instead of telling you the specific means of their withdrawal, let me just say that it would be right to take measures gradually and as necessary. As we told you the other day, a relevant official at the ROK Embassy in Libya is making preparations to help ROK nationals in Libya move to neighboring countries without difficulties and is providing relevant assistance.

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