Foreign travel advice

South Korea

Summary

The level of tension on the Korean peninsula remains high due to a series of DPRK (North Korea) nuclear and missile tests in 2016 and 2017. There remains a threat of further missile or nuclear tests, which could lead to instability in the region. The level of tension and the security situation can change with little notice. In the past, heightened tensions haven’t affected daily life. Get email alerts for future updates to this travel advice and closely monitor local and international media coverage. See Political situation

Public demonstrations are mostly peaceful and well-policed, but the risk of violence remains. You should take extra care as in any crowded place. 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

Air pollution, including 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.

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.

Although there is no recent history of terrorism in South Korea, attacks can’t be ruled out. 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.