The number of South Korean citizens who have been kidnapped, detained or missing overseas in the recent five years has come to 2,762, an opposition lawmaker said Monday, citing data from the foreign ministry.
Rep. Lee Jae-jung of the main opposition Democratic Party said that the number of South Koreans who went missing abroad from 2018 through the first half of this year was tallied at 2,474 while the figure of those, kidnapped or detained totaled 288 during the same period.
Noting a recent rise in overseas travel in line with eased COVID-19 restrictions, Lee stressed the need to reexamine the country's consular assistance programs to ensure citizens would not fall victim to any crimes abroad.
Of the total 2,762 cases, the country saw 607 cases in 2018, 840 in 2019, 614 in 2020 and 426 last year. This year alone, 275 cases have been registered until the first half.
By country, China topped the list with 361 cases, followed by the United States with 322, the Philippines with 279 and Japan with 200. (Yonhap)