Diplomats Staying Put, EU Tells North Korea
MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) – European Union embassies in the North Korea will remain open for business, despite a proposal from Pyongyang for them to evacuate staff over mounting tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the UK's Foreign Office said on Wednesday.
"The EU does not share the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) views on the current situation and does not recognize the nature of threat as described," the EU statement read.
North Korea proposed on Tuesday that foreign embassies evacuate, saying it could not guarantee their safety after April 10.
There have been no evacuations, however.
The North Korean proposal came shortly after the isolated north-east Asian country threatened to launch nuclear attacks on both the US mainland and American military bases in the region.
South Korea's foreign minister said on Wednesday Pyongyang could carry out a test firing of an intermediate-range ballistic missile at any time.
The North Korean threats came as US and South Korean forces carried out annual joint military exercises, some of them near the maritime border between the two Koreas. The United States responded by deploying F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and B-2 and B-52 bombers to the region.
Analysts say North Korea is unlikely to launch a full-scale attack on either US forces or South Korea, but concerns persist that rising tensions could spark hostilities.
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