Chinese security authorities have asked a dozen South Koreans in China to temporarily return home after acquiring intelligence they could be targets of kidnapping or terror attacks by North Korea.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that five South Koreans in China already returned home on the advice and others are considering returning soon. Most of the people asked to leave are businessmen and religious figures working along the China-North Korea border.

The ministry said it ordered South Korean diplomatic missions in China to closely monitor security to ensure the safety of South Koreans. The ministry added it will take necessary measures after close cooperation with Chinese authorities.

On Wednesday, the South Korean Consulate General in Shenyang issued a notice for South Koreans to be cautious in case of possible terror attacks by the North.