3 Koreans released by Turkish police after questioning near Syria border

March 10, 2015


By Yi Whan-woo

Three Korean nationals were released by Turkish police after being arrested for crossing a restricted military area on the Turkish-Syrian border, the government said Tuesday evening.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said two journalists from Seoul and a Korean travel coordinator working in Turkey had been arrested near the southern city of Kilis.

The arrest came while they were covering a story on an 18-year-old Korean, identified only by his surname Kim, who disappeared during a trip to Kilis and was last seen leaving a hotel in January.

He is presumed to have crossed the border and joined the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. Korea’s spy agency said in February that Kim has been training with IS militants.

The foreign ministry said the Koreans underwent police questioning before they were released. It did not give any further details about them.

Since Kim’s disappearance, the government has requested Syria’s neighboring countries, including Turkey and Iraq, to prevent Korean citizens from traveling into the Middle East country. Turkey and Iraq have been used as the main gateways for aspiring terrorists to cross into Syria to join the IS.

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