Published: Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tension escalates as N Korea urges evacuation of embassies

Tension escalates as N Korea urges evacuation of embassies

North Korea has said it cannot assure the safety of embassies in Pyongyang after April 10, and has urged Britain, Russia and other European nations to evacuate diplomatic staff amid soaring nuclear tensions.
Earlier a report said yesterday that North Korea has loaded two mid-range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them in facilities near its east coast fuelling fears of an imminent launch that would sharply escalate tensions.
Countries across Europe yesterday reported receiving a letter suggesting they pull out of Pyongyang, as an increasingly bellicose North Korea moved two mid-range missiles to its east coast.
“Their communication said that from April 10, the North Korean government would be unable to guarantee the safety of embassies and international organisations in the country in the event of conflict,” a spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office said.
“Our understanding is that the North Koreans were asking whether embassies are intending to leave, rather than advising them to leave.”
Britain was considering its next steps, she said, while reminding North Korea of its responsibilities under the Vienna Convention to protect diplomatic missions.
Russia, which has relatively close ties with North Korea, also received the missive.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was in close contact with its partners including China over the suggestion.
In Sofia, a foreign ministry spokesman said North Korea has sent letters to Bulgaria and other EU countries telling them to consider pulling their diplomatic staff from Pyongyang for security reasons.
Russia on Thursday made its harshest criticism yet of North Korea in the current crisis, describing Pyongyang’s actions as “categorically unacceptable”.
Moscow retains relatively close ties with North Korea which go back to the Soviet Union when Soviet forces occupied the northern part of the Korean peninsula at the end of World War II, leading to the creation of a pro-Moscow communist North Korean state.
Meanwhile, Yonhap news agency, citing a top South Korean government official, said two intermediate Musudan missiles had been transported by train earlier in the week and “loaded on vehicles equipped with launch pads”.
The Defence Ministry, which on Thursday had confirmed the movement of one missile with “considerable range”, declined to comment on the new report.

  • zahid

    young president of north korea takes a mature decision to protect their country from US aggression.