Friday, October 22, 2010

F1 Driver Denied Entry to Korea Under Tough New Visa Restrictions

Immigration officials yesterday denied an entry visa to a 'Formula 1' driver who had tried to enter Korea to compete in the inaugural Korean Grand Prix. Officials said they were dissatisfied with the explanation the man gave under questioning. "He claimed to be here for four days just to drive a car near Mokpo, but when we asked him to tell us where he would be going in the car, his answer's didn't make any sense." said 41-year-old Kim, an immigration officer at Cheongju International Airport, which is said to be in North Chungcheong Province, somewhere outside Seoul.

The contents of the driver's baggage were found to be equally questionable. While the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs does advise drivers in Korea to wear crash helmets while driving due to the 'exciting nature' of the country's roads, few Koreans actually follow that advice, so the discovery of a crash helmet in the man's luggage was viewed as a basic lack of research and "too obvious" according to Kim.

"While Mokpo is a very interesting city which surely foreign tourists would want to visit, we find the idea that someone would come here just to drive a car around the local roads for a couple of hours on a Sunday in a borrowed car rather suspect." a source at the Ministry of Justice told us.

The incident is the latest in the Ministry's crackdown. Earlier this year, a football team from Thailand was prevented from entering Korea when many of them failed to identify the South Korean team as the best in Asia. “Some of them knew nothing about soccer.” an immigration officer said.

The move to toughen up visa entries was sparked when The Korea Times, in an uncited article, revealed the fact that there may be as many as 200 million unregistered foreigners living in Korea. Government officials were said to be shocked by the figures, and the Ministry of Justice, which oversees immigration matters as part of its criminal remit, promised it would take steps to stop the flood of immigrants from overwhelming the small group of pure-blooded Koreans who have rightfully inhabited Korea since the nation was founded in the Paleolithic era.

"Now that we know there as many as 200 million unregistered immigrants in South Korea, we have to do something about it, but where are they? What are they doing?" a Ministry spokesman asked nervously.

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