France - Korea

France will not evacuate nationals from South Korea

Reuters/Video grab

France is not going to repatriate its nationals from South Korea, despite North Korea’s call on foreigners to leave the country in case “thermo-nuclear war” breaks out. Officials called on Pyongyang to behave “more responsibly”.

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“We are following with great vigilance and real concern the situation that is due to the unpredictable nature of the [North Korean] regime, which is locking itself into a rhetoric of very inflammatory provocations,” foreign affairs ministry Philippe Lalliot said Thursday afternoon.

But, as to evacuation, “We’re not at the stage yet.”

On Tuesday Pyongyang warned foreigners in South Korea to think about leaving as it pumped up the rhetoric in its confrontation with Seoul and Washington.

France is collaborating “very closely” with other European countries, the US, Japan and South Korea to give a common position on the question, Lalliot said.

“We call on North Korea to adopt more responsible behaviour, […] involving dialogue, restraint and calm, all things that the North Korean authorities are not respecting at the moment,’ he added.

France and Estonia are the only European countries not to have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang.

About 15 French citizens are living in North Korea at the moment, according to the ministry. Two of them work at a “representative bureau”, run by diplomat Olivier Vaysset and the others work for the UN or NGOs.

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