North Korea: Foreigners Should Leave South Before War Breaks Out

War Seen as Unlikely, No Evidence of Mass Fleeing

Nothing seems to be happening with respect to actual military operations on the Korean Peninsula today, but the rhetoric continues to fly fast and furious. Today, North Korea issued a statement warning foreigners to leave neighboring South Korea while they still can.

The statement insisted the war could break out at any time and that foreign institutions and enterprises, including tourists, should evacuate for their own safety, adding that if North Korea gets attacked everyone still in the south would face “an all-out war, a merciless, sacred, retaliatory war.”

South Korea dismissed the call without rejecting the idea that war is imminent, insisting that foreigners have “great trust and confidence in our military” and the ability of South Korea to defeat the North in a shooting war.

Either way, reports coming out of South Korea suggest that the foreigners there aren’t taking the threat of war any more seriously than anyone else living in the line of purely theoretical fire, and that so far there doesn’t appear to have been an upswing in people leaving the peninsula.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.