(LEAD) FM Chung stresses safety of citizens in Ukraine
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with press release; CHANGES headline, lead)
SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong on Friday stressed the "top priority" of protecting overseas citizens during a virtual meeting with chiefs of South Korea's diplomatic missions in Russia, Ukraine and other nations, his office said, amid concerns about military tensions between Moscow and Kiev.
Chung led the session with Seoul's top envoys in the region to discuss safety measures that can be rolled out in case tensions escalate between the two countries.
"Minister Chung stressed the imperative to focus all diplomatic efforts for the top priority task of securing the safety of overseas citizens and our enterprises," the foreign ministry said in a press release.
"He also directed the officials to thoroughly monitor the situation on the ground and make full preparations through close communication among diplomatic missions," it added.
Heads of the diplomatic missions in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Belarus, Slovakia, Romania and Belgium attended the session.
More than 500 Koreans are known to be staying in Ukraine, with most of them in Kiev and other inland cities.
Earlier this week, the ministry advised Korean nationals in 15 southern, eastern and northern regions of Ukraine to swiftly leave the nation amid growing fears of Russian military action.
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