S. Korea, Russia agree to explore ways to deal with illegal immigrants

South Korea and Russia agreed to consider various ways to deal with a growing number of Russians illegally staying here, the foreign ministry said Friday.

In an annual consular meeting in Seoul, the two agreed to explore necessary joint efforts, including establishing a hot line aimed at enhancing cooperation in the crackdown on illegal immigrants and brokers.

The two kicked off the visa waiver program in January 2014, under which travelers are allowed to stay up to 60 days without a visa.

Since then, the number of travelers between the two countries has spiked, surpassing 240,000 during the first half of this year. With the expanded exchanges, the number of Russians illegally staying in Korea has also increased.

Meanwhile, in a way to enhance convenience for travelers, the two also shared the view that they need to sign a deal "as soon as possible" to mutually recognize each country's driver licenses. By the Yonhap.

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