China has reportedly told its citizens
living in North Korea to return home, over fears that tensions between
North Korea and the United States could escalate.
The Korea Times reports that the Chinese
embassy in North Korea began advising Korean-Chinese residents to
return to China last month, over fears the country’s military
provocations could lead to retaliation from the US.
Radio Free Asia, a US-based radio
station that broadcasts to Asian countries, said the embassy began
sending the message to citizens ahead of the 85th anniversary of the
Korean People’s Army last month.
The radio station quoted a Korean-Chinese man living in North Korea who had been contacted by the embassy.
The man, who was not named, said he had
been visiting China every few months. He claimed to have been told to
stay in China for “a while” and decided to leave North Korea a month
earlier than planned as a result, arriving in China in late April.
“The embassy has never given such a
warning. I was worried and left the country in a hurry,” he told Radio
Free Asia, the Korea Times reported.
He claimed the majority of Korean-Chinese citizens in Pyongyang had ignored the warning.
The website of the Chinese embassy in
North Korea did not appear to carry the warning at the time of filing
this report. But, news sources have contacted the embassy for comment.