North Korea has asked foreign embassies to consider moving staff out after warning it cannot guarantee the safety of diplomats.
The request follows declarations by the secretive Communist state that real conflict in inevitable because of what it calls hostile US troop exercises.
Former US political analyst Mike Magan believes the threats from Pyongyang must be taken more seriously than mere sabre-rattling.
“When you have the third generation of dynasty here, Kim Jong-un has to create a power base. You can’t forget the biggest danger that North Korea pose, globally, is the proliferation of weapons and nuclear technology,” he said.
South Korea has its guns still ready as the war of words goes on. However, Britain has dismissed the North’s latest threat as part of what it calls continuing rhetoric.
Under the Vienna Convention that governs diplomatic missions, host governments are required to help get embassy staff out of the country in the event of conflict.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said North Korea had “proposed that the Russian side consider the evacuation of employees in the increasingly tense situation”, according to a spokesman for its embassy in Pyongyang.
Military analysts say North Korea might be able to hit some part of the United States, but not the mainland and not with a nuclear weapon.