Britain won't pull staff from North Korea

April 5, 2013 at 12:49 PM
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LONDON, April 5 (UPI) -- There are no immediate plans to relocate U.K. Embassy employees from North Korea despite mounting security concerns, the British government said Friday.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed Friday that North Korean officials said security assurances couldn't be guaranteed for embassies and international organizations in the country in the event of conflict. The FCO said North Korea gave them until Wednesday to spell out what they'd need to leave the country.

"We are consulting international partners about these developments," the statement read. "No decisions have been taken and we have no immediate plans to withdraw our embassy."

North Korea is said to be redeploying some of its missiles to the east coast. South Korean defense officials were quoted by China's official Xinhua news agency as saying the U.S. mainland wasn't a target.

A February underground nuclear test by North Korea was said to be part of an anti-American campaign. The British government stressed that it condemned North Korea's provocations.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said he spoke Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on exploring new ways to solidify their relationship given looming security concerns. Xinhua reported that both sides paid special attention to the North Korean situation.

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said during a meeting with Kerry this week that a diplomatic solution to the North Korean crisis was "the only feasible and viable option on the table."

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