85 South Koreans denied U.S. entry in Atlanta

By Yonhap News Agency  |  Nov. 21, 2017 at 11:33 AM
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SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Eighty-five South Korean travelers were ordered to fly back after they were denied entry into the United States earlier this week, foreign ministry in Seoul said Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the South Korean Consulate General in Atlanta was notified on Monday that 85 South Korean passport holders were refused U.S. entry at Atlanta International Airport in Georgia on Sunday and were ordered to leave the country.

The travelers arrived at the airport via two separate flights. All of them tried to enter the United States through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, a travel document under the South Korea-U.S. visa waiver program.

ESTA permits citizens of South Korea to travel to the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days without a visa, but U.S. authorities found that they tried to enter the country for other purposes, according to the foreign ministry. The ministry, however, refused to give the details of their visiting purposes, citing privacy reasons.

"The South Korean Consulate General in Atlanta contacted the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to find out why our citizens were denied entry and were ordered to leave," an official with the foreign ministry said. "We've checked whether the travelers received translation services and other amenities in the process."

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