Korea - Travel to South Korea Safe now?
May 27, 10, 9:57 am
Just wanted to get some thoughts on current situation in South Korea. I hope this is the right forum spot. I have a trip booked in early June 2010 for business.
Based on all the threats back and forth between the North and South would you consider canceling a trip in the coming weeks?
Thank you in advance for your feedback...
May 27, 10, 6:43 pm
I think I will be find but you never know. I just arrived in Seoul yesterday and will be here till mid-July. If you do come here might as well inform your Embassy of your presence here.
May 28, 10, 7:21 am
thank you for your thoughts. The Embassy is a good idea. I will be interested if you have any follow up thoughts in the coming week. Have a good and safe stay.
May 29, 10, 5:44 am
I have been in Seoul for 2 months and will probably be here for another 2 months.
There are lots of war threats, but at the moment I don't feel that it's not safe. But it's a good idea to look at the travel advice of the embassies and tell your embassy you are here (most embassies advice to sign up even if you are just here for a short time - but most people don't bother to register)
Some embassies also have advice about emergencies on their homepage, but it normally doesn't say much :) perhaps were evacuation points would be (especially in case of the US) or some general advice.
Some embassies have a text message system that will alert their citizens in case of an emergency, the US one everyone can sign up for on their homepage. How efficient this will be is not clear ;)
If you look at the media keep in mind that some of them make it sound a lot worse than others! It is true for both korean and international media, so just evaluate the different articles.
In the end you need to know for yourself how you feel about it. I have met one or two tourists who decided to leave early because they didn't feel safe in Seoul (considering it's so close to the border and is likely to be attacked first in an attack). But the wast majority of foreigners here is not too worried, especially those who have been long term residents. It's not the first time they threaten each other with war (and theoretically they are still at war).
Jun 1, 10, 1:40 pm
Very good points and considerations to make. I will register with the embassy.
At this point I plan to go unless there is a major flare up. Will give a short update when I return.
Jun 6, 10, 12:25 pm
I was wondering much the same thing but am not travelling until end Sept. The Canadian Foreign Affairs department has a website with upp-to-date warnings and travel advisories and this is how the covered the topic:
Tensions have increased significantly on the Korean peninsula since a multinational investigation team concluded in May 2010 that the DPRK was responsible for the recent sinking of a South Korean warship that resulted 46 fatalities. The evolving political response is likely to cause even greater inter-Korean tensions, which could escalate into other forms of confrontation at any time. In 2009, the DPRK conducted a presumed underground nuclear test and tested a number of short-range missiles. Further tests cannot be ruled out. Canadians should be vigilant, monitor ongoing developments, and follow the advice of local authorities.
Canadians are reminded that political, labour, and student demonstrations and marches can become confrontational or violent. Canadians should exercise caution, avoid areas where demonstrations are being held and avoid confrontations with protestors.
I'll continue to monitor the situation and watch the media reports but for now am not planning to make an itinerary change and am really looking forward to experiencing S. Korea and Seoul. :)