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S. Korean PM orders consular protection of nationals from US unrest


South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun ordered the country's chief envoy to the United States on Thursday to extend "proactive" consular protection for Korean nationals amid escalating anti-racism protests there.

An anti-racism movement, sparked by the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, by a police officer late last month is turning violent in some parts of the US.

A total of 126 cases of property damage have been reported at South Korean-run businesses in the US so far as some demonstrators took to rioting and looting in cities like Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis, according to the South Korean foreign ministry as of Thursday.

Having a phone call with Ambassador Lee Soo-hyuck in the morning, Chung received a briefing on the latest state of the unrest in the US, as well as related damage cases on South Korean-operated stores and businesses there, according to the Prime Minister's Office.

Chung instructed Lee to "proactively make protective efforts for Korean nationals through Korean consulate generals" in link with the property damage in the troubled cities.

The prime minister also urged the ambassador to "cooperate closely with US authorities to prevent further harm to Koreans," the office said.  "The foremost importance is to prevent any harm to human life," Chung told Lee, calling for efforts to ensure the safety of Koreans in the country. (Yonhap)