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UN has no plan to pull out staff from North Korea


United Nations: The UN has no plan to pull its staff out of North Korea, and it is studying warnings from Pyongyang amid rising nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

“UN staff in (North Korea) remain engaged in their humanitarian and development work throughout the country,” said Nesirky, who is with the UN secretary-general on his European tour, while briefing reporters Friday here via audio link.

At present, the UN has 36 international staff and 21 locally hired people working for seven different UN agencies and programs in North Korea, UN officials said.

UN officials were at a meeting in Pyongyang Friday, during which North Korean officials asked foreign diplomats to consider evacuating their staff out of their embassies and warned that their safety could not be guaranteed after April 10, Nesirky noted.

“The United Nations is studying the message and the United Nations will respond as appropriate,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.

In a notification to foreign embassies and diplomatic missions in Pyongyang, North Korean foreign ministry said that due to the increasing threat from the US, the situation on the Korean peninsula was very tense.

The current question was not whether, but when a war would break out on the peninsula, the ministry said.

It added that once something happened on the peninsula, foreign embassies and diplomatic missions should consider the possibility of evacuation.

North Korea would also provide safe locations for diplomatic personnel in accordance with international conventions, the ministry added.

“There is a general need for things to calm down, for the volume to be turned down,” Nesirky said.