Thailand ready to move Thais from South Korea if conflict occurs

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BANGKOK, April 5 – A contingency plan has been readied to relocate Thai nationals in case of an emergency in South Korea following recent threats by the North, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said.

She said appropriate Thai government agencies have worked out preparations but she believed the North Korean threats would not escalate to a violent dispute.

The foreign and labour ministries as well as security agencies have been instructed to move Thai people out of the country or to safe places, she said.

Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said over 40,000 Thais are working in South Korea and they can be relocated in 24 hours if the conflict worsens.

The tourism ministry said earlier this week that there was no indication of Thai tourists cancelling their trips to South Korea and vice versa but that Thai travellers were advised to check the latest situation before leaving for the East Asian country.

South Korea is a favourite Asian destination for Thai tourists, especially during the annual Songkran festival which this year begins next week.

North Korea directed a flurry of furious threats at the South last Saturday and warned that it would retaliate against any provocations by Washington and Seoul without prior notice.