North Korea Warns: We Can’t Protect Embassies if Attacked

Advises Diplomats to Evacuate Their Staff

The North Korean government has sent a message to all embassies in Pyongyang today: get out while the getting’s good. With tensions ever on the rise with the United States, officials say they can’t guarantee the safety of the embassies in the event the US attacks.

The warning was first made public by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said he is attempting to get “clarification” on the matter. British officials have confirmed receiving the same warning, but say they won’t evacuate.

South Korean officials downplayed the significance of the warning, saying North Korea simply wanted “attention” and analysts said they believe the comments prove there isn’t going to be a war, since they figure if the US was to start bombing Pyongyang, the North Koreans would just as soon have some diplomats there in the line of fire to make the US look bad.

A US attack that hit a third-nation embassy would hardly be unheard of. In 1999, the US bombed the Chinese embassy in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, killing three Chinese officials. Of course whether the embassies are evacuated or not, nations typically take a dim view of their embassies getting bombed.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.