The Chinese government has reportedly called upon all Chinese people currently living in North Korea to return to China over concerns of a possible U.S. attack on North Korean soil.
Fears that the U.S. may conduct a strike against North Korea following the recent hostile verbal exchanges between the two prompted the Chinese embassy to begin advising Chinese residents to return home last month.
Quoting a Korean-Chinese man living in Pyongyang, U.S.-based radio station Radio Free Asia stated that the embassy began contacting citizens well ahead of the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army celebrated on the 25th of April.
According to the unnamed source, he had been told by the Chinese embassy to stay in China for “a while.” He then left North Korea a month earlier and arrived in China in late April.
“The embassy has never given such a warning. I was worried and left the country in a hurry,” he was quoted as saying.
While he heeded the warning, he claimed that many Korean-Chinese citizens living in Pyongyang ignored it and chose to stay.
The United States government has been seeking China’s help in reining in the North’s nuclear and missile programs. When the Chinese media issued calls for tougher sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, however, North Korea immediately issued a rare criticism of China, warning that such calls may undermine relations between them, Reuters reports.