The Korean passport is the world's third most powerful based on the number of countries a traveler can eter without a visa, USA Today reported on July 7.
The daily's article headlined "What country holds the most powerful passport? The US didn't make the top five" cited the latest Henley Passport Index by the U.K.-based consulting firm Henley & Partners ranking the passports of 200 countries.
This year's index was based on the number of countries the holder of a passport can enter without a visa, recognition of the country and level of freedom. Japan took the top spot as its passport allows travel to 193 countries without a visa or through visa on arrival, with Singapore second with 192.
Korea and Germany tied for third with 191, followed by Italy, Spain, Finland and Luxembourg in fourth place with 190.
The U.S., which held the second top spot in 2015, tied for seventh this year with 188 along with New Zealand, Switzerland and the U.K.
North Korea ranked 108th with its passport allowing visa-free travel to 39 countries.
The article said the rankings "don't take into account the varying COVID-19 restrictions and border closures from some countries." It also mentioned border closures by Canada, Chile, Argentina, Greenland, Australia, Japan and New Zealand due to COVID-19, with the U.S., China, Russia and many European countries banning travelers from "high-risk regions" only.
Henley & Partners Chairman Christian H. Kaelin told the daily, "It's unclear how long travel restrictions will be in place," adding, "The restrictions will likely hinder international travel for the rest of the year."
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