S Korea to scan fingerprints of suspicious foreign visitors

16:36, August 30, 2010      

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Officials from the Ministry of Justice present a fingerprint checking system at the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, west of Seoul, capital of South Korea, on Aug. 30, 2010. The Ministry of Justice of South Korea decided to start a gradual implementation of fingerprint checking system for foreigners entering South Korea from Sept. 1, 2010. (Xinhua/Park Jin-hee)

South Korea will begin to operate fingerprint scanning systems next month to prevent the illegal entrance of foreign nationals with fake identification, as part of its efforts to bolster security measures ahead of the G20 Seoul Summit in November, the Justice Ministry said Monday.

The Ministry of Justice has set up a total of 67 fingerprint readers and face recognition devices at 22 airports and ports across the nation, which will start working on Tuesday.

Foreign visitors whose profile matches those of terrorists, and who hold passports reported as missing or which appear to have been faked, and who have a one-way ticket or are not familiar with the language or conditions of their native country, will be subject to fingerprint scanning, according to the ministry.

Face scanning will be used as a supplementary method when fingerprint scanning fails to fully identify those with crime records, it said.

South Korea has introduced a series of security measures in preparation for the upcoming G20 summit in Seoul, and the operation of fingerprint scanning systems is its latest effort.

It carried out an anti-terrorism drill as part of the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise between Aug. 16 and Aug. 26, to ensure the successful hosting of the G20 Seoul Summit in November.

The anti-terrorism drill was participated by about 400,000 soldiers and officials from 4,000 offices of the central and regional government agencies, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency quoted military sources as saying.

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