To contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, South Korea has banned the entry of non-Korean travelers coming from or through China's Hubei Province.
But, there's a growing public call for this entry ban to be applied to people from all areas of China.
The virus is rapidly spreading in China and over 12,000 Chinese tourists continue to flow into South Korea every day.
To this, South Korea's Foreign Minister said the government will review a complete entry ban on all non-Koreans coming from China if necessary but added the international situation has to be taken into account.
She was speaking to reporters at a press conference on Thursday.
"Of course, protecting our citizens is the biggest priority. But I believe the entry ban has to be applied considering the overall WHO directions, the effects it can bring, and the international situation."
She also said that Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting Seoul before July, just as agreed.
"Our agreement that President Xi will visit South Korea during the first half of this year is still effective."
Meanwhile, the defense cost sharing negotiations between South Korea and the United States, which were expected to take place early this month, are still not being organized.
Minister Kang didn't have much to say on why the talks are being delayed but she emphasized that the two sides are communicating frequently.
"We have sufficiently explained to the U.S. how much we've contributed to the Seoul-Washington alliance and have also asked for their understanding. We still have wide gaps in views, but our mutual understanding has deepened significantly."
"Seoul and Washington have conducted six rounds of negotiations to determine how to share their defense costs for this year.
The U.S. initially demanded that Seoul pay 5 billion U.S. dollars for this year, which is nearly a fivefold increase from last year, but has reportedly stepped back from that request.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News."