Thursday, October 12, 2017

China Asks S Koreans To Evacuate Due To Risks Of Attack

China asks S. Koreans to evacuate due to NK abduction risks

Chinese police asked South Korean citizens near the North Korea-China border to evacuate the area due to risks of an attack and abduction by the North, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday. 

“We are aware that Chinese authorities have suggested South Korean citizens there evacuate on the possibility of an attack by North Korea,” the ministry here said. 

Local media reports said Tuesday that Chinese police warned around 10 South Korean businesspeople, community associates and religious leaders residing near the border to evacuate due to the possibility of abduction by North Korea. They were notified during the Chuseok holiday earlier this month amid heightened military tensions on the Korean Peninsula and ahead of China’s upcoming Communist Party Congress. 

Among them, five had already left China as of 7 a.m. Wednesday, while the rest have chosen temporary escape or are considering to return to South Korea, added Seoul’s Foreign Ministry.

The South Korean Consulate General in Shenyang pointed out that it was an unprecedented move for Chinese authorities to directly communicate with South Korean nationals on such matters. It also advised South Koreans to be cautious of strangers and alert family members or acquaintances.

“Previously, the consulate made the safety measures whenever there were signs of such attacks by the North -- this is the first time Chinese authorities took direct action,” said Consul-General to Shenyang Shin Bong-sup. 

An unnamed consulate official suggested that the authorities’ actions were triggered by an obtained intelligence report hinting at North Korea’s secretive operation.

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