Foreign travel advice

South Korea

Summary

Following a National Assembly motion to impeach President Park in December 2016 there have been regular, large scale public demonstrations (both in support of and against the motion) in Seoul. Protests have been held every Saturday and sometimes on other days. These protests are expected to continue until the final verdict of the constitutional court is announced on 10 March 2017.

Public demonstrations are mostly peaceful and well-policed, but the risk of violence remains. You should take extra care as in any crowded place. During these protests some roads will be closed and access to public transportation (eg, subway and bus) may be limited, particularly around the Gwanghwamun and City Hall areas. See Safety and security.

The typhoon season normally runs from June to November. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the instructions of the local authorities. See Natural disasters

Yellow dust pollution is common in South Korea during spring months. When the concentration levels of dust particles are high, residents and visitors are advised to stay indoors as much as possible, close windows and drink plenty of water. This is particularly important for the elderly and those with respiratory problems. Follow local media reporting and the Korean Meteorological Service website for latest advice.

The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. See Political situation

It’s not possible to enter North Korea from South Korea without special permission.

The South Korean authorities sometimes hold nationwide civil emergency exercises. Sirens are sounded, transport stopped and some people are asked to take shelter in metro stations or basements. See Civil emergency exercises.

There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

Around 100,000 British nationals visit South Korea every year. Most visits are trouble-free.  

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.