The Chinese Embassy in North Korea has ordered Korean-Chinese residents to return home amid concerns that the U.S. is finalizing plans for an imminent full-scale assault on North Korea, according to Radio Free Asia.
The embassy began sending the urgent message in late April, days before the North celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army with a show of military power, Radio Free Asia said Tuesday.
The station cited a Korean-Chinese man living in Pyongyang, who said he left for China after the embassy contacted him and gave him the inside word, strongly advising him to leave North Korea as soon as possible.
Korea Times reports: He said he has been visiting China every two to three months but, after being told he should “stay in China for a while,” left North Korea on the next available flight to China.
“The embassy has never given such a warning. I was worried and left the country in a hurry,” said the man, whose name was withheld.
But he said that many Korean-Chinese residents in North Korea were ignoring the message.
The city’s “peaceful” atmosphere, despite the global crisis due to the state’s threats involving missiles and nuclear tests, might have kept them unaware of the situation, he added.
The embassy’s warning indicates that China is worried that the saber-rattling North and U.S. moves to destabilize the Kim Jong-un regime might affect Chinese citizens abroad.
The North was expected to conduct its sixth nuclear test around the 105th anniversary of the state’s founder Kim Il-sung’s birth on Apr. 15 and/or on the national military anniversary on Apr. 25.
The test did not happen on either day, except a fizzled missile test on Apr. 29.
CNN report: US Air Force B-1 bombers have conducted four presence missions in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region since April 1 and flown near the Korean Peninsula twice in the past two weeks — a move that has drawn sharp criticism from North Korea amid rising tensions in the region.
On Monday, two US B-1 bombers departed Andersen Air Force base in Guam and conducted a joint drill with South Korea and Japan’s air forces over the Korean Peninsula, according to the US Air Force.
Separately, two B-1 bombers also flew over South Korea in late April, according to a US defense official. Bombers also flew near Australia on April 17 and close to the South China Sea on April 11, the official said.