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Korean minister warns: immigration crucial

SEOUL (ANN/THE KOREA HERALD) – South Korea has reached a critical juncture where embracing immigrants is not a choice but an imperative, as articulated by the Justice Minister Han Dong- hoon on Wednesday who spoke at a ruling party policy meeting in the National Assembly.

The Justice Minister emphasised that the nation is beyond the contemplation phase regarding immigration policies, asserting that without such measures, Korea faces the peril of extinction due to a population crisis.

Han’s statements align with the ongoing efforts of the Yoon Suk Yeol administration to establish a dedicated government agency as the central authority overseeing immigration affairs. Despite discussions initiated by Yoon last year, progress toward launching this control tower has been slow.

The proposed control tower, set to fall under the purview of the Justice Ministry upon its establishment, aims to address the pressing need for comprehensive immigration management.

Han clarified that the envisioned immigration policies extend beyond the mere acceptance of more foreigners into the country, emphasising the broader significance and urgency of the proposed measures.

“It’s about tightening the monitoring on who to accept by using a detailed yardstick and adopting stronger management of illegal immigrants,” he told a group of People Power Party lawmakers.

“The quintessential countermeasures against a population crisis is improving birth rates alongside a new immigration policy.”

Officials from different agencies across the government will be dispatched to the control tower, according to Han. He explained that this system takes a leaf out of immigration control towers in Germany and Japan.

“The idea allows smooth operation without having to reform too many laws,” he said.

Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon speaks at a People Power Party policy meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul, Wednesday. PHOTO: ANN/THE KOREA HERALD SOURCE