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.