ROK visa ap­pli­ca­tions sus­pended

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By LIU CE in Shenyang and SU ZHOU in Bei­jing

Visa ap­pli­ca­tions to the Repub­lic of Korea made through 52 travel agen­cies in China’s three north­east­ern prov­inces have been sus­pended by theROK­con­sulate gen­eral in Shenyang, Liaon­ing prov­ince.

The sus­pen­sion was an­nounced in a no­tice is­sued by the con­sulate gen­eral.

Travel agen­cies said the de­ci­sion is aimed at stop­ping Chi­nese agen­cies from do­ing busi­ness with the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea. How­ever, the con­sulate gen­eral de­nied this, blam­ing the tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion on travel agen­cies’ busi­ness qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

The sus­pen­sion will take ef­fect on April 18, but the con­sulate gen­eral did not say how long the ban will last.

A travel agency in Shenyang said it had been told a week ago by the con­sulate gen­eral to stop busi­ness with the DPRK if it still wanted to sub­mit visa ap­pli­ca­tions for vis­its to the ROK.

A project man­ager at the agency, who wanted only to be iden­ti­fied as Wang, said, “We have been pro­vid­ing travel ser­vices to the two coun­tries. How­ever, we stopped our travel busi­ness to the DPRK on April 1.

“We had al­ready been banned from sub­mit­ting tourism visa ap­pli­ca­tions to the ROK con­sulate gen­eral in Shenyang for three to six months.”

The ban does not mean that the 52 agen­cies can no longer or­ga­nize travel groups to the ROK. Wang said visas can still be ob­tained from other agen­cies.

Ac­cord­ing to

the

Joon­gAng Ilbo news­pa­per in the ROK, the ROK gov­ern­ment said it would sus­pend visa ap­pli­ca­tion ser­vices for any Chi­nese travel agency en­gaged in travel to the DPRK, in an at­tempt to con­trol tourism — the north’s main source in­come.

The re­port said the pol­icy has been or will shortly be in­tro­duced in all ROK con­sulates in China.

Song Fengling, a tour guide work­ing for an in­ter­na­tional travel agency in Jilin prov­ince, said that few Chi­nese tourists choose to visit the DPRK.

“Chi­nese tourists like shop­ping in theROK, as it is cheap to travel there. Travel agen­cies in Jilin prov­ince all profit from or­ga­niz­ing trips to the coun­try,” she said. “On the other hand, tourism at­trac­tions in the DPRK are not that at­trac­tive and the profit mar­gin is rel­a­tively low.”

of

for­eign

Travel agen­cies in Jilin prov­ince all profit from or­ga­niz­ing trips to the coun­try (the ROK).”

ZhouHuiy­ing in­Harbin con­trib­uted to this story.

Con­tact the writer at li­uce@chi­nadaily.com.cn

YUAN YUN / XIN­HUA

Peo­ple from Shaox­ing Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Geneva take part in a cal­lig­ra­phy per­for­mance in Shaox­ing, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Tues­day. The event was or­ga­nized by Shaox­ing Univer­sity.

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