The British Foreign Office on Friday confirmed that its embassy in Pyongyang had received a message from the North Korean government saying it could not guarantee its safety in the event of conflict after April 10.
“We received a communication from North Korea saying that they would be unable to guarantee the safety of embassies and international organizations in the event of conflict after April 10,’’ a Foreign Office spokesman said.
“But there was no request for us to evacuate,’’ he said.
“We have no immediate plans to evacuate and are encouraging North Korea to engage with the international community and behave responsibly,’’ he said.
Other foreign embassies have received similar warnings.
Russia was in close contact with the U.S., China and South Korea after Pyongyang asked foreign embassies to consider evacuating staff, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“The proposal was made to all the embassies in Pyongyang, and we are now trying to shed light on the situation,’’ Mr. Lavrov said.
Britain’s Foreign Office said it is “considering next steps’’ for its diplomatic mission in North Korea.
Both Russia and the UK said they had no immediate plans to evacuate their Pyongyang embassies, according to the BBC.
The North’s move comes amid repeated threats to launch nuclear attack US and South Korean targets.
South Korea has deployed two warships with missile-defence systems after the North moved a missile to its east coast. U.S. has also deployed missile defence systems to areas that could come under threat.
But South Korea has played down the North’s missile move. It said the move may be for a test rather than a hostile act.
British officials said on Friday North Korea had asked them to respond by 10 April on what support the embassy would need in the event of any evacuation – and they were considering their moves.
“We are consulting international partners about these developments,” said a Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement. “No decisions have been taken, and we have no immediate plans to withdraw our Embassy.”