Sunday, 14 March 2010

South Korea Black-lists Russia after violent attacks on students

South Korea recommends that its citizens refrain from visiting Russia until the end of May, after several attacks on Korean nationals, Korean news agency Yonhap reports.

The warning comes after a 29-year old South Korean film student was attacked by two men in Moscow, who slit his throat.

The attackers were masks from the American movie "Scream", and police believe to be racially motivated. The victim survived, but remains in the hospital.

This isn't the first attack on South Koreans in Russia. Just a month ago, a Korean student was stabbed to death in Barnaul, and another in Irkutsk.

Increased neo-Nazi attacks are thought to be linked to the nearing of April, 20, Adolph Hitler's birthday.

The Korean Times estimates that for the last five years neo-Nazis in Russia killed or injured at least one Korean national a year.

Yonhap attributes these crimes to racial intolerance.

Korean government has been asking the Russian government to address this issue, but to no avail.

Moreover, Foreign Affairs Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador in South Korea Konstantin Vnukov on March, 9, to file a nota bene over recent crimes against South Koreans in Russia. The agency reports that it is one of the strongest actions the state can take to express its outrage.

Korean nationals who are already in Russia are advised to travel in groups accompanied by local guides. This is the first time that South Korea issued a warning like that regarding "one of the capitals of world powers", says the agency.

The number of South Korean visitors to Russia has been on the decline as it is.. Last year, the, the number of tourists fell by 16%, from 47,660 in 2008 to 39,972 in 2009, reports Russian Federal Agency for Tourism and Sports.

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