President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday ordered the Foreign Ministry to consider sending chartered planes to rescue hundreds of South Korean nationals stranded on Bali, as the Indonesian resort island has closed its international airport due to a possible volcano eruption.
“Take measures to securely escort Korean residents and travelers in Bali, and review plans such as sending chartered planes,” President Moon said at an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, according to his chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan. The meeting was held following North Korea’s launch of a rocket believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile early in the morning.
Since last week, Mount Agung volcano has been showing signs of possible eruption, spewing clouds of dark gray ash and with lava seen welling up in its crater.
The Indonesian authorities raised the volcano alert to its highest level Monday and ordered the mass evacuation of people on the island. The international airport is closed, leaving tens of thousands of travelers stranded. Nearly 1,000 South Korean tourists are believed to be stranded there.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)