Thailand requests South Korea to strengthen K-ETA screenings

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The request comes in the wake of several Thai citizens being denied entry into South Korea, incidents which have led to public dissatisfaction among Thais.

Thailand has called on South Korea to strengthen the pre-entry screening process for the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) for visitors from visa-waiver countries. The request comes in the wake of several Thai citizens being denied entry into South Korea, incidents which have led to public dissatisfaction among Thais. The appeal was made during a director-general level meeting on consular affairs between the two countries’ foreign ministries.

The issue gained attention after numerous Thais shared their experiences online of being denied entry into South Korea despite having K-ETA approval. These incidents, widely shared on social media, sparked discontent among the Thai public. Thai officials argue that a more rigorous K-ETA screening process could help South Korea prevent entry by ineligible travelers and minimize the chances of foreigners being turned away upon arrival.



Yoon Chu-sok, the director-general for consular affairs and safety at Seoul’s foreign ministry, emphasized South Korea’s commitment to ensuring that well-intentioned travelers face no inconveniences. Yoon also expressed a desire for South Korea and Thailand to collaborate closely to bolster people-to-people exchanges and foster friendly relations between the two nations.

Introduced in 2021, the K-ETA is required for foreign nationals from countries with a visa-free agreement with South Korea. The system, designed to expedite entry, requires applicants to submit personal and travel information akin to the US ESTA program. (NNT)


The appeal was made during a director-general level meeting on consular affairs between the two countries’ foreign ministries.