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Consular Hotline Aids Koreans Overseas

Posted April. 01, 2006 03:00,   


If you find yourself in an emergency situation overseas, such as involvement in an accident or losing your passport, the best thing to do is to contact the Consulate Call Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

At 1:00 a.m. on March 13, the phone bell rang at the Consulate Call Center at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security in Seocho-dong, Se0cho-gu, Seoul. “Please find the family of Min,” the caller asked.

A Korean tourist visiting a film festival in Paris had suddenly lost consciousness and required surgery. The hospital was asking for family approval.

The Consulate Call Center went into emergency mode. They woke up the personnel in charge of passport duties in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and after sifting through past passport issuance records, they were able to locate Min’s family contact number.

When calling from overseas, the center’s number is: country code+800-2100-0404 or country code+0+822-3210-0404. The domestic call number is 02-3210-0404.

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com