Foreign Office refuses to rule out evacuating North Korean embassy

By Jo-Anna K. Burnett

The Foreign Office will not ruled out evacuating its embassy in North Korea after receiving notice that its staff’s safety could not be guaranteed, a spokesperson has told politics.co.uk.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) warned foreign embassies in Pyongyang it could not guarantee the safety of its staff after April 10th.

The Press Association reported that the British embassy did not intend to evacuate, but sources at the Foreign Office told politics.co.uk they were not ruling out any options.

This week the DPRK moved missiles to its east coast, according to reports from the South Korean government, and threatened to restart its nuclear reactor.

Other recent actions include threats to block South Korean workers from the Kaesong Industrial Region and to nullify the armistice agreement intended to cease aggressive and hostile acts between the country and other nations, missile and nuclear tests in February and a satellite launch in December.

"North Korea’s development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes poses a real and increasing threat to regional and international peace and security," Hugo Swire, minister of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated in March.

"If North Korea continues its flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions it will face an increasingly tough international response."

The embassy in the DPRK focuses on human rights and counter-proliferation – small-scale projects intended to improve the lives of the country’s "most vulnerable" citizens, its website states. It also provides educational and cultural exchanges, in addition to consular and visa services.