Worries are mounting about the safety of Korean personnel in Libya amid escalating violence there. In response, the government here issued a travel ban for the war-torn country.
The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday banned travel to Libya for six months while advising Korean nationals there to evacuate.
"The situation in Libya is becoming restless with escalating fighting between Islamic militias," a ministry official said. "We're asking Korean firms to immediately leave Tripoli and Benghazi, where the situation is acute, and other areas within a week."
The Korean companies there are following step-by-step evacuation plans. Currently about 460 Korean staffers work in the North African country for some 20 Korean builders like Hyundai and Daewoo, carrying out projects worth US$10.2 billion at 49 sites. They include power plants, hotels and infrastructure projects.
Daewoo Engineering and Construction has already evacuated 27 staffers from its office and a hotel construction site in Tripoli to the site of the Misrata Power Plant it is building.
Hyundai Engineering and Construction is also working out an evacuation plan for its personnel, staying in touch with its headquarters in Seoul around the clock.