South Korea is very strict in outbound travel and when you come to the airport, there are multiple tests and checks, Shim Bongkil said

South Korea has said that through its democratic efforts, the country has been able to reduce the number of people impacted due to Coronavirus and welcomed Indian measures to deal with the crisis.

Speaking exclusively to our diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal, South Korean envoy Amb Shim Bongkil lauded India for giving a "very good example by holding SAARC" for a coordinate approach on dealing with the pandemic.

WION: South Korea's numbers of confirmed cases have been very high and many countries have tried to distance themselves from your country. What is the situation like now?

Amb. Shin Bongkil: Korea is now in full control and confirmed cases are decreasing significantly.

It's two digits now. The important thing is a number of fully cured person surpasses the number of newly confirmed cases. So the overall situation is improving a lot, that is the situation in South Korea.

WION: India has also restricted travel with South Korea. Is there anything your is doing to prevent the outflow of COVID-19?

Amb. Shin Bongkil: South Korea is very strict in outbound travel and when you come to the airport, there are multiple tests and checks.

In Korea, we identify coronavirus contact, that means if you are exposed to an infected person in two meters of range, then you are classified as coronavirus close contact. Then you are not allowed to travel abroad, the government controls it. We are very tight in controlling our outbound travel to other countries, we don't harm other countries.

WION: Korea has recently been in international news as a democratic model for the approach to this pandemic. What has been your country's approach to tackling this pandemic?

Amb. Shin Bongkil: When we say democratic, that means we are very open and very transparent, the government announces every kind of facts about the infection, disease, and government measures and now people have full confidence on government announcements.

This is the most important things of democratic procedures in South Korea.

We are using scientific and technological measures. We use very innovate measures. We introduced, drive through check centre and introduced work through test centre for those who don't have vehicles and we use smartphone apps, we follow movements of all the people who are impacted.

We tell the public not to go to problematic areas, those kinds of information. We are a very wired country, we use top-end technology in preventing and isolating this disease.

WION: How has COVID-19 effected India-Korea relations?

Amb. Shin Bongkil: Actually, as with other countries, most of the diplomatic activities and exchanges were stopped. What is the important thing is that an important business project should not be stopped, timing is very important.

We are cooperating with the Indian government very efficiently, that we provide health certificate to those who have very compelling reasons to visit India to install new kind of facility like Samsung, LG, Hyundai, if we can explain it to your embassy in Seoul, if they expect it as the compelling reason they provide health certificate and you allow some of them.

We accept quarantine and things are like that, how to help these kinds of economic business and not make such big problems that is the most important what we are doing with the Indian government.

WION: How do you plan to mitigate the impact and what do you think of the Indian government's measures?

Amb. Shin Bongkil: Until now South Korea has been successful in mitigating the coronavirus crisis.

We first, tried to identify it. We used the best possible test facilities, that means who is infected and isolate them and due to early identification and isolation, we can stop the spread of the virus and we can treat them easily, that is why South Korea's death rate is so low as compared to some other developed countries.

Early detection is very important in case of South Korea, in case of India it is such a big country how to contain the spread of the virus is the most important aspect and the Indian government is doing very well, I heard from WHO experts in Delhi, until now India is doing very well and we hope that you can make it and its 1.4 billion if you can make a successful resolve, then India will make the top country as a democracy.

WION: G20 is all set to have a video conference, you are a G20 country, you take...

Amb. Shin Bongkil: In this multilateral kind of approach, India made a very good example by holding SAARC summit and actually SAARC was almost a dead body, now it is revitalized and PM Modi's initiative made it possible and overcoming this long time issue of terror and you were successful in inviting Pakistan, even though the PM did not come his advisor came, anyway eight member countries - multilateral regional cooperation regime made an effective conference and I think India proposed formulating a medical team providing some financial assistance, it is a good initiative.

Also, they made out some suggestion and I think in G20...actually South Korean President Moon Jae In had proposed to hold the G20 video conference on March 13, long time ago, maybe he was the first to propose the important meeting and I think there was some technical problem, its a big group, in the US its day time, in India its night, it will not be easy, every country has its own problem and in case of Korea, as I told you is fully controlling this invisible enemy and we can provide our experience and we can propose medical team, or financial help and every country has something to contribute.

This is a very good suggestion, the will help a lot in resolving the issue.