S. Korea ‘closely watching’ safety of some 1,600 S. Koreans in Iraq

SEOUL-- South Korea is keeping close tabs on the safety of some 1,600 South Koreans staying in Iraq, where political instability is rising after the death of the top Iranian defense commander, the foreign ministry here said Friday.

The Iranian commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, was killed early Friday in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport upon the authorization of United States President Donald Trump. The Iranian commander was leading the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

"(South Korea) is closely watching the political situation in Iraq and the safety of our nationals there and plans to take all possisble steps to protect them, that includes providing consular support, if necessary," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Most South Koreans in the Middle Eastern country are involved in construction projects.

Travel to Iraq is currently prohibited for South Koreans, except in cases specially authorized by the government.

The foreign ministry has also advised South Koreans in Iraq to take special safety measures and made recommendations to companies planning to dispatch workers to Iraq to delay or cancel their plans in light of recent developments.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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