The Thai Labour Minister Phadermchai Sasomsap yesterday instructed the Thai ambassador in Seoul to prepare a plan for the speedy evacuation of all Thais after North Korea on Saturday declared it was at a "state of war" with South Korea.
Pyongyang's announcement came as the communist country escalated its bellicose rhetoric against both South Korea and its staunch ally the United States.
The emergency plan includes the setting up of temporary shelters in places like Busan and the arranging of flights and ships to transport Thais, mostly contract workers, to Japan if hostilities really break out, Phadermchai said.
The labour attaché at the embassy was ordered to gather information on the number of Thai workers in the northern part of South Korea.
About 44,000 Thais are in South Korea and 10 Thai employers are in North Korea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Manaswee Srisodaphol said.
The spokesman added that the ministry has not yet announced the evacuation plan to avoid panic.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has directed the Foreign Ministry to closely monitor the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and to take care of Thais living in South Korea.
"We don't want to see any violence or force used. We want to see peace talks," she said.
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