S. Korea looking into China’s alleged visa refusal for Korean musicians in U.S.

SEOUL-- South Korean officials are working to determine the facts regarding China's reported denial of visas to three South Korean college students in the U.S. planning an orchestra tour in China, a source said Thursday.

According to a U.S. news report, the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music in New York said Tuesday the band had canceled plans to tour China this winter after Beijing refused to issue visas for its South Korean members.

The news report cited Eastman Dean Jamal Rossi as claiming that the move came in response to Washington's 2016 decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile defense system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), to South Korea.

A source familiar with the matter in Seoul, however, said on Thursday what the American university claimed has so far turned out to be untrue. According to the source, none of the students from the band or tour organizers have applied for visas yet.

The source also said the visa process was being handled by a local agency in the U.S.

It was unclear whether the agency had prejudged that South Koreans would not be allowed to travel or why Rossi made such an accusation.

When asked for a comment over the matter, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a briefing on Wednesday that it was not aware of the situation, describing it as "an individual affair."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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