North Korea on Tuesday said all foreigners and foreign-run businesses in the South should draw up evacuation plans, the latest in a series of shrill warnings from Pyongyang about what it describes as likely armed conflict on the peninsula.
The North “does not want to see foreigners in South Korea fall victim to the war,” the country’s state-run news agency said in a statement attributed to the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, an arm of the ruling Workers’ Party.
The warning was dismissed as bluster by most security analysts, who say Pyongyang wants only to raise tensions and win political concessions from the South, not go to war with it. Officials in Seoul said they saw no signs in the North of irregular military activity or preparations for war, and a spokesman for the United States Embassy in Seoul said there was no evidence of an imminent threat to U.S. citizens in South Korea.
Still, the North’s warning underscored how the secretive police state is taking increasingly unfamiliar measures to portray itself as a threat. Within the last week, North Korea, under 30-year-old leader Kim Jong Un, has temporarily shuttered a joint industrial park, announced the restart of a nuclear reactor that generates weapons-grade plutonium, and told diplomats in Pyongyang that their safety couldn’t be guaranteed from this Wednesday.
Read the rest of the story: N. Korea warns foreigners in the South should make plans to evacuate.