Earlier today North Korea warned foreign nations with personnel in the country to consider evacuating their embassies.
On the face of it this would be a signal that hostilities might break out soon, but analysts are saying that it means precisely the opposite:
“If Pyongyang were getting ready for an armed conflict in earnest, it would hardly have asked the foreign missions to leave the country,” Alexander Zhebin, head of the Korean Studies centre of Russian Academy of Science, told Interfax.
Zhebin explained that The North would use foreign diplomatic missions as a shield because strikes against their capital (i.e. where the embassies are) would “naturally have been condemned and rejected unanimously by Russia, China and other countries.”
In fact, the warning to foreign nations is intended to create fear.
“This is part of a calculated, psychological campaign to increase a sense of crisis and get international attention.” Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies in South Korea, told Ellen Barry of The New York Times.
The bottom line is that North Korea’s people are starving, and this kind of rhetoric is an audacious attempt to unify the country in the country in the face of UN sanctions and perhaps force the international community to give it some much-needed aid.
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