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South Korea approves refugee applications for two Russians

Incheon International Airport in South Korea has allowed two Russians seeking refugee status to apply for refugee status, allowing them to enter the country after being stranded for months there.

There was another Russian whose appeal was rejected without explanation by the Incheon District Court.

South Korea approves refugee applications for two Russians

In order to avoid being drafted to fight in Ukraine, the three men have remained inside the gateway since October, when their lawyer requested they not be named.

Their refugee applications were rejected at the airport when they arrived in South Korea.

In South Korea, where military service is mandatory for all able-bodied men, seeking refugee status does not qualify as a valid reason.

Lawyer Lee Jong-chan, who represents the three Russians, said the court’s ruling on the two was welcome, but regrettable for the ruling on the other.

In addition to escaping the killing of innocents, they also fled a war initiated by their own country. They had to wait four months just to be allowed to apply for refugee status.

Asylum recognition might take years, so the pair will end their months-long airport stay in South Korea and become settled there.

There is a right of appeal for the third Russian, but he must wait at the airport for the appeal process to be completed.

The right to apply for asylum has been denied to two more Russians trapped at the airport.

Their cases will be decided by the court later this month.

There are international conventions on refugees signed by South Korea, but the country typically only accepts a handful of migrants as refugees.

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