Japan is finalizing plans to evacuate 60,000 of its citizens from South Korea in the event of war as tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to build.
Japan’s National Security Council has held urgent discussions on how it would provide safe passage for its citizens if a major crisis arose out of a potential North Korean nuclear test, which some have predicted could happen this weekend.
Japanese authorities are also readying for a potential wave of North Korean refugees to pour into the country, amongst whom could be hidden spies and agents, Japanese media reported.
“Besides commercial ships and planes, Japan would want to send military aircraft and ships to assist in the evacuation if the South Korean government agreed,” reports Press TV.
The official who revealed the plan declined to be identified, citing the “sensitivity” of the topic. A Japanese ruling party lawmaker and a government source also told Reuters this week that authorities in Japan were preparing for an influx of North Korean refugees, but that such preparations were being kept secretive so as not to stir public anxiety.
Millions of citizens in Seoul and other major South Korean cities could be at risk if North Korea decides to retaliate against U.S. aggression.
It was also reported yesterday that North Korea has evacuated 600,000 citizens from Pyongyang because the city does not have enough bunkers to shelter its entire population. although the veracity of that report was subsequently questioned.
North Korea’s Vice foreign minister Han Song Ryol told the Associated Press today that the country is prepared to use its most “powerful nuclear deterrent” if the U.S. launched a pre-emptive strike.
NBC reported yesterday that the Trump administration could launch a conventional pre-emptive strike if it suspects North Korea is about to follow through on a nuclear weapons test, although this was subsequently denied by Pentagon officials.