This story was originally published at 15:49
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TASHKENT, April 5 (RIA Novosti) – North Korea has asked foreign embassies based in its capital, Pyongyang, to consider evacuating staff, as tensions continue to rise on the Korean Peninsula, Russia’s foreign minister said on Friday.
“The proposal was made to all the embassies in Pyongyang, and we are now trying to shed light on the situation,” Sergei Lavrov told journalists in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.
A Russian embassy spokesman told RIA Novosti that the proposal had been made in light of increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Lavrov also said Russia was in "close contact" with the United States, China, South Korea and Japan - participants in stalled talks in the North's nuclear program - over the unexpected announcement, which comes shortly after the isolated north-east Asian country threatened to launch nuclear attacks on both the US mainland and American military bases in the region.
The North Korean threats came as US and South Korean forces carried out annual joint military drills, including near the maritime border between the two Koreas. The United States responded by deploying F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to the region.
Analysts say North Korea is unlikely to launch a full-scale attack on either US forces or South Korea, but concerns persist that rising tensions could spark hostilities.
Tensions began to rise on the Korean Peninsula after international sanctions were imposed on North Korea in response to a long-range rocket launch in December that world powers condemned as a ballistic missile test. North Korea responded by carrying out a third nuclear test in February, which was followed by more sanctions.
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- moistWho´s threatening who again?After the fascist empire...18:02, 05/04/2013..killed millions of North Koreans in the 50´s and destroyed their livelihood for generations to come, all NK wants is a binding peace agreement so they can go on with their lives and unite with their southern brethren. McDonalds & Co dont because they want to rape it again and send in the IMF to finish off rest, keep them apart so they can parasite and threaten China.
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Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.