Apr 9 2013
In a Tuesday statement, North Korea’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee advised all foreigners in South Korea “to take measures for shelter and evacuation in advance for their safety” because in case of war “we don’t want foreigners living in South Korea to get hurt.”
“The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to a thermonuclear war,” the statement added.
In the latest move signaling the escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula, thousands of North Korean workers failed on Tuesday to go to work at a joint industrial complex with the South, following earlier plans by Pyongyang to suspend operations at the facility.
On April 5, the North also urged foreign embassies, including that of Russia, to consider the possibility of evacuation from Pyongyang.
On March 30, North Korea declared that it is in a “state of war” with South Korea, warning that any provocation by Seoul and Washington will trigger an all-out nuclear war.
The prospects of an outbreak of war have sharply risen following the participation of the US’ nuclear-capable B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers in joint military drills with South Korea.
Pyongyang also warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”
North Korea on Friday moved a second medium-range missile to its eastern coast, 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 to be theoretically capable of hitting any target in Japan and South Korea, and even reach US military bases on the Pacific island of Guam.
Washington has also deployed two guided-missile destroyers in the Pacific to waters off the Korean Peninsula.
On April 8, Japan also deployed Patriot missile launchers to ‘defend against a potential attack by North Korea.’
An aerial footage by Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, showed launchers equipped with Patriot surface-to-air missiles being deployed at three bases of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force
North Korea nuclear threat: Pyongyang warns foreigners to leave South Korea amid threats of war
South Korea immediately to avoid being hurt in the event of nuclear war.
The latest threat of conflict was issued via the state-sponsored KCNA news agency and comes as tensions on the Korean peninsula grow by the day.
“We do not wish harm on foreigners in South Korea should there be a war,” said the KCNA news agency, citing its Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.
The escalation in threats of military conflict is fuelled by Pyongyang’s anger over the imposition of UN sanctions after its last nuclear arms test in February.
The sanctions have led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the country since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
Last week Pyongyang advised embassies there to consider pulling out in case of war.
Earlier today, North Korean labourers failed to turn up for work at a factory complex operated with South Korea, effectively shutting down the last major symbol of cooperation between the hostile neighbours.
Few embassies in Seoul have advised their citizens to quit, however. The United States, which has also been threatened by Pyongyang, has said there were no imminent signs of threats to American citizens.