The South Korean foreign ministry on Thursday denied news reports that China reimposed a ban on group tours to South Korea.
News reports said earlier that the China National Tourism Administration's Shandong Province branch notified local tour agencies of the ban starting on Jan. 1.
If confirmed, it marks the reimposition of a ban on group tours to Korea after the initial ban, imposed in March in retaliation for South Korea's installation of the U.S. missile interceptor system Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), was lifted about a month earlier.
The lift was a follow-up to the two countries' agreement to end their feud over the THAAD deployment.
"As Chinese authorities are saying the reports are far from facts, (South Korea) plans to do closer fact-finding and analyzing on concerned movement," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a brief press release.
"Both countries plan to make continued efforts to speedily restore and develop their exchanges and cooperation, including human exchanges, in accordance with their leaders' joint understanding," the ministry said, referring to a summit between President Moon Jae-in and President Xi Jinping in Beijing a week earlier. There, they agreed to speed up the restoration of bilateral relations frayed by the development. (Yonhap)
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