Is it safe to visit South Korea?

Numerous members have visits to South Korea planned in the coming weeks and months. But given recent tensions with North Korea, is it currently safe to visit?

About to pack and head to MEL for the HKG > ICN flight, but cannot seem to break away from family calling about the Korean peninsula. I’ve been through a few risks in my time; north Pakistan, gunfight in Guatemala et al, but Dad got me thinking when he said have I an “escape plan” if something does happen in this crazy period we are in.

While no travel is without risk, several AFF members have visited Seoul over the past week and provided on-the-spot reports of the current situation.

The verdict? Our members unanimously agree that everything seems fine in South Korea. Life continues as normal, and Koreans themselves appear completely unfazed.

Arrived ICN, just like a normal trip, no extra police, army, etc. Talking to my Korean colleagues, the noisy neighbours are being their normal selves. Their only worry is scatterbrain Trump wanting to stamp his mark. No tension in the air and a very pleasant day in Seoul/Anyang. Cass is cold like normal and kimchi, well, is kimchi…..

Just arrived here in Seoul myself a few hours ago, and like the above posters I can only say that if people are concerned it is not very obvious!

I also arrived here in Seoul today and agree with the above few comments. Pity about the weather today. I enjoyed the street food in myeondong though.

The Australian government’s Smart Traveller website agrees. At the time of writing, Smart Traveller recommends that visitors to South Korea “exercise normal safety precautions”. The same advice is given to travellers visiting New Zealand. However, it is recommended that travellers to South Korea register with Smart Traveller and check for updates prior to travel.

There have been limited disruptions to DMZ tours over recent weeks. These are the tours to the border between North and South Korea. However, the majority of tours appear to be going ahead as planned.

Well I have just been to the DMZ and all looked very peaceful; the only jarrring note was a intermittent background of artillery gunfire which we aere assured was “our side” doing training.

If you’re travelling to South Korea in the next couple of weeks, you should be aware that elections will take place on the 9th of May. Nonetheless, these are expected to be peaceful.

Travel to any destination is never guaranteed to be 100% safe. But the opinion of those on the ground in South Korea is clear: Right now, it’s safe to visit.

Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

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