SEOUL, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- South Korea has granted refugee status to two Yemeni asylum seekers who filed for asylum in the country after fleeing from Yemen's civil war.
The Jeju Immigration Office said Friday that it decided to give refugee status to two Yemeni journalists, who may have a fear of being persecuted for their reporting on Houthi rebels.
It added that the reporters have already experienced threats to kidnap and kill for their coverage criticizing the Houthi rebels in the civil war.
Yemen's civil war started in 2014 and has exacerbated between Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition. The conflict has caused more than 17,000 Yemeni civilians killed or injured since March 2015, according to the United Nations.
The immigration office also allowed 50 Yemenis to stay in the country on humanitarian grounds and rejected 22 claims for asylum as they are considered to have secured a stable settlement in third countries.
Hundreds of Yemenis arrived South Korea's southernmost island of Jeju this year, fleeing from the ongoing civil war in Yemen.
A total of 484 Yemenis have applied for asylum in the first half of this year, according to Yonhap News.
Of them, two have been granted refugee status while 412 have been allowed to stay on humanitarian visas. The rest of them have been rejected or have already left the country.
Those permitted to stay in the country are allowed to travel outside Jeju. Yemenis have been rounded on the island after the Jeju Immigration Office blocked them from leaving the island in April, amid growing fears of an unprecedentedly large number of Muslim countries in the East Asian country.