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Cambodia Lacks Measures to Evacuate Workers From Korea in Event of War: Envoy


Cambodian and Korean officials participated in Khmer New Year celebration in Manseok Park, Suwon, South Korea, Sunday April 16, 2017. (Sok Khemara/VOA Khmer)

Long Dimanche, ambassador to South Korea, says that there's about 60,000 Cambodians living in South Korea, the vast majority are migrant workers.

As saber-rattling over North Korea continues, Cambodia’s ambassador to South Korea has said that there are no plans in place to evacuate citizens in the event of a conflict breaking out.

Long Dimanche, ambassador to South Korea, said he was closely monitoring the situation but as no emergency had been declared, there was no need to make preparations for an evacuation.

“It seems there is nothing wrong in South Korea as they are still living their lives and investment and tourism is progressing normally,” he said.

“If something changes, the government of South Korea will inform us in advance.”

He said about 60,000 Cambodians are in South Korea, the vast majority migrant workers.

Nam Bunna Lee, a migrant laborer, said he and his fellow workers were not worried by the trading of threats between the North and the United States.

“The reason is that North Korea often threatens to detonate nuclear weapons,” he said.

However, he added that if the dispute escalates towards conflict, a plan should already be in place to get Cambodian citizens to safety.

Japan recently announced it was planning to send military and civilian aircraft to evacuate its citizens from South Korea in the event of war.

Chum Sounry, foreign affairs spokesman, could not be reached for comment.

Ou Virak, a political analyst and founder of the Future Forum, a think tank, said the government should have a comprehensive response plan in case of war on the Korean peninsula.

“The government should be ready at any time to rescue its citizens,” he said, adding that it could look to more developed nations for assistance.

“Even if there is neither tension nor confrontation, the government should be well prepared. The government should take action rather than wait.”

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