Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Status of the Slow EPs in Korea

I haven't written my blog in a while, and I apologize for making all of you wait so long regarding why the EP process has slowed down so much in Korea.  A few families have written to me wanting to know what's going on as they anxiously wait for their children to come home.
So far the Korean government branch of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has not requested the agencies to submit a certain number of EPs that they normally accept from the agencies around February of a new year.  But it's already the end of March and no request from MOHW was given to the agencies to submit a new batch of EP applications.
Just this wee, one or two agencies went ahead and submitted the EP applications to MOHW regardless.  From what I hear, the MOHW recently underwent a new staff rotation program, and all the staff members have been replaced except for one, thus creating some learning curve for the new members, thus the slow EP process.
However, there have been some EPs cleared this year, but these are the ones that were submitted for application on last November 2016. But for 2017 there has not been any EP batches submitted until this week.
So it's going to be a slow process for the time being, but expect the staff members to learn the ropes soon.  I think another reason may be that the whole country has been so absorbed for months by the impeachment of the President Park, and much of the country did not move with their normal activities because of the national emergency.
Stay tuned.


  1. Steve,
    Can you give some insight on what South Koreans and especially those in Seoul are thinking and feeling now with the heightened tensions between North Korea and the US?
    Thank you.

  2. While there is a concern that hasn't been there before, people in S Korea are the least worried people. They have gone through this types of threats, or warnings, or uncertainties for over 60 years since the end of the Korean conflict in 1953. The cost of US striking NK (as there are so many that wish the US would both in Korea and in the US) would be so devastating as NK would then strike S Korea and Japan. This is the way for NK to payback or revenge the US as there is no way that NK would be able to attack the US (other than the US bases in SK). Seoul is less than 30 miles away from the DMZ, and there are hundreds of big guns pointed at Seoul. If they strike, thousands of casualty in SK would result, putting the blame to the US by the international community. I don't think Trump is dumb enough to do this. So my personal opinion is that these times will pass away. But then, the interesting thing is that Korea will have a election in May 9th, and the predicted outcome is that Moon Jae In will win. If Moon (who is very pro NK) wins, he said that the first country he will visit would be to NK. In that case, even if the US was to first strike, there is a question whether the NK will strike south under Moon's leadership that is pro-NK. Also, if NK strikes SK, then that will destroy the trust held by so many SK citizens that were warm to NK. So everything is up in the air, and no one has a clear prediction as to what will happen, including me. I am just praying that some give and take will result and the whole nuclear crisis in NK will be resolved peacefully.

  3. Thank you for responding. It is very unsettling from where we sit in the US, and especially for those of us who, for example, are in the adoption process and anticipating traveling to Seoul later this year or early next year.