The South Korean government is reviewing whether to evacuate Korean residents in Iraq on concerns that escalating violence in the country may be prolonged, an official said Monday.
Sunni Muslim insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized Iraq's second-biggest city Mosul last week, raising prospects of civil war.
A Seoul government official said that as the Iraq government forces' counterattack seems to have slowed ISIL's progress, it is possible the violence will be prolonged.
About 80 Korean companies including subcontractors are doing business in Iraq and around 1,300 South Koreans are staying there.
He added that the Seoul government will compile possible withdrawal plans from such firms and also make efforts to prepare for possible evacuations.
The Korean government last week set up a task force to address the safety of Korean residents in Iraq and held meetings with related local firms on their contingency plans.