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N. Korea cannot protect foreign embassies after April 10–UK

/ 10:27 PM April 05, 2013

In this Saturday April 14, 2012 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, waves as North Korean military officers clap at a stadium in Pyongyang during a mass meeting called by the Central Committee of North Korea’s ruling party. Kang Dong-wan, a cross-border relations expert at Dong-A University in Busan, believes South Koreans should start taking North Korean threats more seriously than before because Pyongyang’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, is still tightening his grip on power and has not been proven to make sound military judgments. AP FILE PHOTO/Ng Han Guan

LONDON – North Korea has warned Britain that it cannot protect foreign embassies after April 10 in the event of a conflict linked to soaring nuclear tensions, the Foreign Office said on Friday.

A spokeswoman said Pyongyang had advised London that “from April 10, the North Korean government would be unable to guarantee the safety of embassies and international organizations in the country in the event of conflict”.

“The DPRK has responsibilities under the Vienna Convention to protect diplomatic missions and we believe they have taken this step as part of their country’s rhetoric that the US poses a threat to them,” the Foreign Office spokeswoman said.


Britain was one of several European countries including Russia to receive a letter regarding the safety of its embassy in Pyongyang, as North Korea moved two mid-range missiles to its east coast.

The Foreign Office spokeswoman added however: “Our understanding is that the North Koreans were asking whether embassies are intending to leave, rather than advising them to leave.”

North Korea, incensed by UN sanctions and joint South Korea-US military drills, has issued a series of apocalyptic threats of nuclear war.

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