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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China Asks North Korea to Ensure Safety for Chinese Diplomats

RIA Novosti

14:07 07/04/2013

BEIJING, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – China has asked North Korea to ensure safety for its diplomats amid rising tension on the Korean peninsula, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

"Tensions on the Korean peninsula are unceasingly rising at present and China expresses its grave concern over this,' the ministry said.

North Korea reportedly moved two missiles capable of striking the US Pacific territory of Guam onto mobile launch pads on Friday and advised foreign embassies to consider pulling staff out of Pyongyang.

China has asked Pyongyang 'to ensure the safety of Chinese diplomats in North Korea in accordance with the Vienna Convention and international laws and norms … while China will protect the legal rights and safety of North Korean citizens, organizations and enterprises on its territory," the ministry said.

Tensions began to rise on the Korean Peninsula after international sanctions were imposed on North Korea in response to a long-range rocket launch in December, which world powers condemned as a ballistic missile test. North Korea responded by carrying out a third nuclear test in February, which was followed by more sanctions.

North Korea has threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes against the US mainland and US military bases in the region.

Some of the threats came as US and South Korean forces carried out annual joint military drills, including near the maritime border between the two Koreas. The United States responded by deploying F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to the region.

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