No embassies closing in North Korea

April 6, 2013 at 7:56 AM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, April 6 (UPI) -- No foreign embassies have yet chosen to leave Pyongyang despite warnings from North Korea, officials say.

Saying their safety could not guaranteed if war broke out, North Korea's Foreign Ministry had asked embassies in the nation's capital to leave, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Saturday.

The warning is North Korea's way of "ratcheting up tension in the Korean Peninsula," a South Korean government official said.

Officials in Seoul said Pyongyang appeared to be saying "it's going to be an enemy, not North Korea, that will launch an attack." They described the tactic as "a propaganda war to dump responsibility for the instability on the peninsula on the U.S."

The BBC reported North Korea's Foreign Ministry asked foreign embassies to say by April 10 if they would need help evacuating.

Russia responded by asking if the statement was an offer of help or an indication Pyongyang had made a decision.

Both Russia and the United Kingdom say they don't have immediate plans to evacuate their embassies in Pyongyang.

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