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Korea added to hand luggage X-ray list

2019/05/31 16:18:31

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 31 (CNA) Hand luggage of passengers arriving from South and North Korea will be X-rayed at Taiwan's airports and seaports from Friday, as part of government efforts to fend off African swine fever (ASF), according to the Council of Agriculture (COA).

The measure was implemented at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport from midnight Thursday in line with the government's border controls to prevent the ASF virus from entering Taiwan due to the heavy air travel between Taiwan and the Korean Peninsula, said an official with the COA's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

North Korea reported May 30 its first ASF outbreak in Chagang Province, near China's northeastern Liaoning Province, where the first ASF case in China was detected in 2018.

As North Korea borders South Korea, the government has also designated South Korea as a high-risk country for ASF, the official explained, warning passengers never to bring in animal or plant products into Taiwan.

Since December last year, hand luggage of passengers from countries affected by ASF or high-risk areas must be subjected to X-ray checks upon arrival in Taiwan.

Fines have also been increased for bringing in pork products from countries with ASF outbreaks since then, with first-time offenders liable to a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,325) and repeat offenders fined NT$1 million.

To date, 88 passengers have been fined NT$200,000 for infractions of the regulations.

(By Flor Wang and Wu Rui-chi)