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Seoul expands support for Manila to protect Koreans

Nov. 8, 2015 - 17:53 By 이다영
Following a number of violent crimes against Korean tourists and residents in the Philippines in recent years, the Korean National Police Agency announced on Saturday it will increase the numbers of agents on its special task force teams to help the Philippine police tackle the problem.

The plan was announced during a meeting between Kang Sin-myeong, the commissioner general of the Korean National Police Agency, and his Filipino counterpart Ricardo C. Marquez, the chief of the Philippine National Police.

Since 2013, a total of 31 South Korean nationals have lost their lives to violent crimes in the Philippines. Earlier this month, a Korean man in his 70s was kidnapped in January by a terrorist group in the Philippines while visiting his son in Zamboanga Sibugay Province in Mindanao Island.

The terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, is known to have ties with al-Qaida and has been blacklisted by the United States.

Currently, the KNPA runs two special teams dealing with crimes against Korean nationals in the Philippines, one in Manila and the other in Angeles. The KPNA plans to dispatch more officers in Filipino regions with a high Korean population.

Kang of the KNPA and Marquez of the PNP also discussed ways to collaborate on crime investigations. Kang suggested the idea of dispatching Korean medical examiners when a violent crime occurs against a Korean national.

Kang also met up with Albert del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, to address the issue. The head of the KNPA also met with officials at the Bureau of Immigration to discuss ways to share information on criminal offenders in Korea and the Philippines who have fled overseas to avoid punishment.

By Claire Lee (