South Korea says it will allow some asylum seekers from Yemen to stay in the country for one year on humanitarian grounds.
The Justice Ministry in Seoul announced on Friday that one-year stay permits will be given to 23 Yemenis who need protection.
They are among about 500 people who have fled civil war in Yemen and arrived on the resort island of Jeju this year.
South Korea has a no-visa policy for Jeju, to attract tourists.
The Justice Ministry refuses to give the 23 people refugee status. It says they are not facing persecution based on race or religion and are not refugees under South Korean law.
Travel professional said,“It has become really bad in recent weeks and it is all because Jeju introduced a program that enabled people from 186 countries to come here without a tourist visa,” says Hank Kim, owner of the Core Travel Agency.
Kim continues: “Local people here are worried, we have all read about the problems that immigrants have caused in Europe — in Germany and France in particular — and we do not want that to happen here.”