October 12, 2017 11:57
Chinese police have advised a dozen South Korean missionaries working near the border with North Korea to leave due to fears of abduction or attacks by North Korean agents.
Sources in the border city of Dandong and the South Korean Consulate in Shenyang on Wednesday said Chinese police advised the South Korean missionaries to go home earlier this month.
One South Korean source in the region said, "We weren't coerced, but they explained that in view of the threat it would be advisable for us to stay out of China until the Communist Party Congress ends."
Some South Koreans were summoned to police stations but were not told exactly what threats they faced from North Korea.
Dandong is a hotspot for North Korean agents trying to sniff out defectors who have fled across the border, and it is a more or less open secret which hotels they frequent.
South Korean missionaries in the area mostly double as helpers for defectors on their arduous trek across China to Southeast Asia.
The consulate in Shenyang warned South Koreans in the region on Wednesday to "take extra precautions" against possible acts of terror or physical harm from North Koreans and to stay away from North Korean restaurants and other venues in China.
"It is quite unprecedented for Chinese authorities to issue such warnings to our residents," a consular official said.
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