US Korea in landmark deal over reciprocal travel
The United States and the Republic of Korea have announced a reciprocal agreement for the two nations’ respective trusted traveler programs – the U.S. Global Entry program and Korea Smart Entry Service.Under the deal, which was announced at Washington Dulles International bySecretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar and Republic of Korea Minster of Justice Jae-Jin Kwon, South Korea becomes just the third country, after the Netherlands and Canada, to have a fully reciprocal, publicly available trusted traveler program with the US. The agreement also marks the establishment by the US of the first permanent trusted traveler program in Asia.Speaking of the “extraordinary bond” linking the US and Korea, Ms Napolitano said the agreement marked “another major step forward” in the alliance between the countries.“Global Entry and Korea’s Smart Entry Service are not just quick, easy, and efficient for travelers; they also help our customs authorities focus on those travelers we know less about, so that we can more effectively identify potential threats and keep our borders and our countries secure,” she remarked.The US Travel Association and Brand USA have already given the thumbs up to the agreement. The Global Entry Program, part of an overall push by the Federal Government to increase travel and tourism in the US, streamlines the screening process for pre-approved, low risk travelers, reducing average wait times at airports by up to 70 per cent.Global Entry kiosks and Smart Entry Service e-gates are currently available at 25 US international airports. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H.