Chinese, Thais, stay on in Korea after arrivals

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Chinese, Thais, stay on in Korea after arrivals

Local authorities said over the weekend that nearly 50 foreigners who recently arrived in Korea on temporary visits have gone missing, just months after a Chinese couple made national headlines breaching security systems in Incheon International Airport to enter Korea to find work.

Among the missing foreigners, eight were reported to be Chinese nationals who received medical tour visas last month and arrived in early March.

The group, six males and two females aged between 40 and 60, underwent checkups at a hospital in Daegu and were supposed to return to China, according to officials from the Daegu metropolitan government on Sunday.

Instead, they decided to remain and managed to convince their local tour guide they didn’t need any help going back home. It took Daegu authorities a month to learn they were at large. The local tour company recently discovered they hadn’t boarded their plane to go home.

Around 40 others who went missing are from Thailand. They were among a group of 100 Thais who came to Korea as a cheering squad for Buriram United FC. Last week, the football team played against FC Seoul in this year’s AFC Champions League. The group reportedly fled in a van directly after passing through immigration upon arrival at Incheon airport.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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