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Afghanistan turmoil

South Korea accepts 'Afghan friends' despite hostility to refugees

Moon cites 'moral responsibility' to Afghans who worked with Koreans

Afghan evacuees who supported the South Korean government's activities in Afghanistan, arrive at Incheon International Airport in South Korea on Thursday.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- Announcing the arrival of 378 people from Afghanistan in South Korea, Justice Minister Park Beom-gye referred to them not as refugees but as "our Afghan friends."

In an apparent effort to stem public discontent, Park on Thursday explained that the evacuees spent years working closely with South Korea, assisting diplomats and development professionals with efforts to rebuild the country. Among them are IT professionals, interpreters and medical workers.

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