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Korea sends officials to Brazil to run temporary consular office

South Korea will send its first contingent of officials to Rio de Janeiro to help run a temporary consulate office that will be tasked with providing better protection for its citizens and athletes, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The team consisting of ministry officials and a doctor will leave for the Brazilian city later in the day, according to the ministry.

They are an advance team that will help run a temporary consulate office which will operate around the clock from Thursday until Aug. 22.

They will be joined later on by other staff members, including more government officials, police officers, another doctor and support personnel.

The ministry earlier said that the office will be tasked with providing protection for South Korean nationals while keeping communication channels open with local authorities in case of emergency.

Concerns remain high over safety and health threats caused by the high crime rate and the Zika virus. During the Olympics, which kick off on Aug. 5, some 1,300 South Koreans, including athletes, are expected to visit the city. (Yonhap)