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North Korea tells foreign embassies to consider possibility of evacuation

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South Korean soldiers man K-55 self-propelled howitzers at a military training field in the border city of Paju on April 5, 2013.

North Korea has asked foreign embassies, including that of Russia, to consider the possibility of evacuation due to an upsurge of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“A representative of the North Korean Foreign Ministry suggested that the Russian side examine the question of evacuating the employees of the Russian Embassy,” Russian Embassy spokesman, Denis Samsonov, said on Friday.

“We are currently in the process of taking the decision,” said Samsonov, adding that the situation was “absolutely peaceful” in Pyongyang.

The spokesman said a similar suggestion must have been made to other diplomatic missions in the capital.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said his country is in close contact with the United States, China and South Korea over a possible embassy evacuation.

North Korea moved a second medium-range missile to its eastern coast on Friday, one day after it deployed a Musudan to the same coast, with the missile reportedly facing Japan.

With an intended range of about 3,000 kilometers, the Musudan is believed be theoretically capable of hitting any target in Japan and South Korea, and even reach US military bases on the Pacific island of Guam, while Taepodong-2 has a range of 6,000 kilometers or more which is able hit Hawaii.

On April 3, the Pentagon announced a decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile system to Guam to protect the US military bases and the 6,000 American military personnel there.

The prospects of an outbreak of war have sharply risen after the participation of the United States’ nuclear-capable B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in joint military drills with South Korea.

On Thursday, the North Korean army said a preemptive nuclear war with the United States “could break out today or tomorrow,” warning the US to “ponder over the prevailing grave situation.”

Earlier in the day, the North Korean army said it had received final approval for a nuclear attack on the US in response to Washington’s threats.


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