SEJONG, Dec. 30 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea will sharply increase the budget allocated to beefing up security at its diplomatic missions in 2016, in the face of mounting threats to its diplomats and facilities, the government said Wednesday.
According to the finance ministry, 26.5 billion won (US$22.6 million) will be set aside in the new year, up more than 50 percent from 17.6 billion won earmarked for 2015.
The move follows a terrorist attack against its embassy in Libya in April that left two local security personnel dead. Its embassy in Nepal was damaged in the same month following a massive earthquake in the Himalayan country.
The ministry said there is a need to increase security as the threat of ISIL and other terrorist organizations is on the rise, requiring additional precautions to be taken.
The extra money will go to the hiring of more security guards, armored vehicles for embassy staff and the relocation of the South Korean Embassy in Iraq to the so-called safe Green Zone within Baghdad.
In addition, more money will allow the hiring of 22 new assistants to support counselor services for Korean nationals abroad.
The ministry said that 1.3 billion won has been reserved to charter passenger jets in the event that people have to be evacuated from trouble spots quickly, with a further 150 million won to be used to get security-related consulting.