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Foreigners remain in Pyongyang as residents are prepared for war

Foreigners remain in Pyongyang as residents are prepared for war
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Foreigners in Pyongyang still showed no signs of leaving North Korea a week after the Foreign Ministry warned that it could not guarantee their safety after April the tenth.

National flags outside embassy buildings continued to fly in the capital even as people there expect conflict.

Pyongyang resident Ri Sun Hak, said: “Now the situation on the Korean peninsula is touch and go and on the brink of war. The Korean Asia Pacific Peace Committee released a statement saying that all the foreigners in South Korea should evacuate to safety and I think this is a generous and humanitarian step.”

His compatriot, Tong Chun Kwang added: “If all-out war breaks out, the whole of South Korea will be turned into a sea of fire. Frankly, bombs don’t have eyes and don’t kill only the bad guys.”

For now life seems to be continuing as normal in Pyongyang, but it remains to be seen if this is all a storm in a teacup, or the calm before the storm.

Celebration preparations

However on Thursday the reclusive and poverty-stricken state turned its attention to celebrating the ruling Kim dynasty and appeared to tone down rhetoric of impending war.

Despite threats it will attack US bases and the South in response to any hostile acts, North Korea started to welcome a stream of visitors for Monday’s celebrations marking the birthday of founding father, Kim Il-sung.

The verbal threats appeared to fall off as the state news agency KCNA listed arrivals for the upcoming birthday celebrations, naming an eclectic mix ranging from Chinese businessmen to Cold War-era enthusiasts of its socialist monarchy and official ideology of “juche”, or self-reliance.

Ramon Jimenez Lopez, listed as the chairman of the Latin American Institute of the Juche Idea, and Jie Wenjiang, who it said was in charge of Hantong International freight company in Dandong, China, were among the arrivals, KCNA reported.

North Korea has stationed as many as five medium-range missiles on its east coast, according to defence assessments made by Washington and Seoul, possibly in readiness for a test launch that would demonstrate its ability to hit US bases on Guam.