S. Korea keeps tabs on rising tension with Russia: ministry
SEOUL-- South Korea said Tuesday it is keeping a close eye on escalating tensions from the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, with its local embassy gearing up for contingency plans to evacuate its nationals there.
"We are closely monitoring relevant situations, taking necessary safety measures for Korean nationals (in Ukraine)," foreign ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sam said during a press briefing. "Our government hopes that the Ukraine situation will be resolved peacefully through dialogue and diplomacy."
He added South Korea's embassy in Kyiv is still in normal operation. Approximately 600 Korean nationals are currently staying in Ukraine, with most of them in the capital and other inland cities.
Tensions remain high near Ukraine's border areas as the United States and its European allies have failed to reach an agreement with Russia to avert a potential military conflict.
Also on Tuesday, the foreign ministry advised South Korean nationals in 15 regions in Ukraine to leave the regions.
Previously, the ministry had advised South Korean nationals to leave three regions of Ukraine, including Donetsk and Luhansk.
The 15 southern, eastern and northern regions of Ukraine include Rivne, Kyiv, Sumy and Odessa, according to the ministry.
The ministry advised South Korean nationals in the 15 regions to swiftly leave the regions.
Source: Yonhap News Agency