Diplomats staying put: EU tells North Korea

London, April 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Embassies of countries under the European Union in 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 British Foreign Office said Wednesday.

“The EU does not share the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) views on the current situation and does not recognise the nature of threat as described,” the EU statement read.

North Korea proposed 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 country threatened to launch nuclear attacks on both the US mainland and American military bases in the region.

South Korea’s foreign minister said 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 US 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.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

pm/vt

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