Afghans who worked with country’s embassy, organizations will be brought to South Korea as ‘persons of special merit’.
ANKARA (AA) – South Korea will take in some 380 Afghan nationals who worked with its embassy and other organizations, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
Military planes will airlift the Afghans from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on Thursday, Yonhap News Agency quoted a senior official as saying.
They include medical professionals, vocational trainers, IT experts, and interpreters who worked for South Korea’s Embassy and its humanitarian and relief organizations in Afghanistan, as well as their family members, read the report.
“Considering the moral responsibility for the serious situation facing our colleagues who worked with us, our responsibility as a member of the international community and our global stature as a leading nation upholding human rights, as well as the fact that other countries have also been transporting Afghans, we decided in August to embrace them in our country,” Choi Jong-moon, the country’s second vice foreign minister, said.
The Afghans will not be coming to South Korea as refugees but as “persons of special merit,” he clarified.
On Tuesday, the Taliban said no more Afghans will be allowed to leave the country, urging the crowds thronging the Kabul airport since the group’s takeover to return to their homes.
Foreign nationals, however, can continue to leave the country, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told a press conference.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan after taking Kabul on Aug. 15, with the president and other top officials leaving the country.
The unexpected power grab has triggered a rush to flee Afghanistan, including civilians who assisted foreign soldiers or groups and now fear Taliban retribution.