KCNA advises foreigners in South Korea to have evacuation plans

It’s touching to know that North Korea has my well-being at heart:

North Korea warned foreigners in South Korea to take evacuation measures on Tuesday in case of war, in the latest escalation of warnings from Pyongyang.

“We do not wish harm on foreigners in South Korea should there be a war,” its KCNA news agency, citing the spokesperson for its Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

You can read North Korea’s statement in Korean here. Basically, they are saying America’s being very mean to them, and a war could break out at any moment, so be sure you’ve got your evacuation plans thought out ahead of time.

No mention of their plan to take all the Americans living in the South captive—word count issue, I’m sure.

Perhaps North Korea’s just pissed off that South Korea set a record for inbound tourists in March?

UPDATE 1: Korean newspaper MoneyToday notes that the US embassy website does have a page with emergency info for US citizens in Korea—worth checking out if you haven’t done so already.

UPDATE 2: From Don C.:

So we’re all good, then?

UPDATE 3: US State Department says there’s nothing to worry about. Funny stuff at the press briefing, though:

Reporters pressed Ventrell to acknowledge that the U.S. government thinks North Korea is just bluffing and has no intention of attacking the South.

“So the fact that a nuclear-armed country has told foreigners to get out of South Korea because of a coming war, you don’t regard as a specific threat?” asked AP reporter Matt Lee. “In another circumstance if a country warned Americans or any other foreigners to get out, you might think that that was an actual threat. No?”

Ventrell said that North Korea has a pattern of making such provocative statements and he insisted the U.S. government was taking Pyongyang’s statements seriously, but said that at the same time, Americans should feel free to travel to South Korea as they please.

There was more back-and-forth, too.

Oh, and thanks go to the WaPo’s Chico Harlan for the link.

  • red sparrow

    I am certain that more than because the Americans are being mean, the petulant fat piece of sh*t up north is having a tantrum because Maggie Thatcher’s death has diverted a lot of attention away from him.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I wonder if all those memes making fun of him are pissing him off much. He’s a fat, ugly shit though, isn’t he?

  • http://catsinskorea.blogspot.com.au/ Jakgani

    The USA military based in Korea – must be relaxing now that North Korea said it doesn’t want to hurt any foreigners in South Korea – afterall, the USA military are foreigners – so they should be quite safe in the event of anything happening?

  • Ric

    Reunifcation…the North is hell-bent on it. Someday it’ll happen, I’m sure. But, I agree. This hard line stance is distasteful as it smacks of Stalin’s purge and Hitler’s Lebensborn.

  • cm

    The world should not give into this terrorism and blackmail by North Korea. Fear and uncertainty are what North Korea is trying to create.

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  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon


    I think that the danger is actually increasing now, ironically — as it slowly begins to dawn on the clueless Boy-King that the whole world, SK & USA in particular, are just ignoring and laughing at him (perhaps he has tuned-in to The Daily Show & etc) — and he might panic at thinking of what the actual Generals there will think & do as that realization comes to them too.

    But China won’t let him do anything “serious” at all, and he’s soured his relationship with Beijing before even going there to get legitimized… Hapless young fool has painted himself into a bad corner!

  • judge judy

    just when i didn’t think the latest nork stories could get any more surreal, i read the wapo quoting marmot’s hole.

  • David29073

    I have just discovered your Blog. I was introduced to it by the Washington Post. I have been a student of trying to find out about North Korea since I was in my teens. ( I am retired now, so that can give you an idea of how old I am) I never knew about half the stuff you have been writing about on this Blog (I have been exploring it for the past hour). My only problem is, I don’t read Korean, but get the “jist” of what the NK are trying to convey.
    I have thousands of questions about North Korea and have been reading blogs from all over the place (Daily NK, NK News, and some of the Newspapers of South Korea: The Chosun Ibo among others), along with whatever I can glean from American Newspaper’s (NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, LA Times) but this is the first time I have actually gotten first hand info from an American living in South Korea who is actually “in the thick of it”.
    I’ll keep an eye on your Blog and as will be asking questions and making observations. I may, at times, also tell you what is happening here in this country with regards to North Korea and how we are being affected by it (not much from what I can tell, just a lot of white noise from an insect leader who has his head up his rear end and has NO idea about what the real world is like).
    Look forward to reading about the everyday life of South Korea and what it’s like to live there with all these goofy threats from the North.
    David29073 (my zip code here in the states)
    Lexington South Carolina

  • JPWARD1961

    I found this site today via the Washington Post. Clue me in with a little primer. Who wants unification, the North or the South, or neither. I will assume that if the North wants unificaiton it wants to incorporate the south under northern rule. If China is increasingly a Free Market hybrid of socialism, wouldn’t she want a big trading partner in a unified Korea, so long as the FDRK is absorbed by the ROK? In which case, China has the upper hand here to calm the unrest. Everybody wins – except Kim and his Generals.

  • wombat

    I remember something I read about communists, they are excessively harsh against their own people yet lenient and liberal towards outsiders. Basically, attempts to make all foreigners feel that special loving feeling. “To Foreigners: From Pyongyang with Love.” – KJU.

  • Clifford T Smith

    Assuming just for a moment that this is actually a serious warning does anyone find it in the slightest bit bizarre that when they fire up their artillery they want to be sure that they are ONLY killing their Korean cousins. Can anyone say Apocalyptic Fratricide?

  • http://kwillets.typepad.com/kwillets/ KWillets

    They apparently have some kind of waeguk-tron bomb that only kills foreigners.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Re-edited Quote:

    “North Korea warned foreigners in South Korea to take evacuation measures on Tuesday in case of war” so that the foreigners will be easier to identify and target. “We do not wish harm on foreigners,” said the North’s spokesperson, explaining that Kim Jong-un never wishes anything, for he doesn’t have to, because he can act instead.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • R. Elgin

    I am in Greece so I guess I should stay here longer.

    Good timing!

  • MrMao

    Listen, I left you guys 12 cases of Shin Ramyeon, Chocopies, a crate of Milkis and an AK-47 in a cave below Namsan Tower. You’ll be fine.

  • cm

    There are millions of foreigners in Korea, from all over the world, including a big chunk of Chinese residents, tourists, guest workers, and foreign students from Republic of China. If the North Koreans are crazy enough to attack South Korea, they will be inflicting a massive casualty on the citizens of People’s Republic of China. Not only them, but also people from Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and just about every corner of the world.

    If North Korea is stupid enough to attack South Korea, they’re going to be facing not just the wrath of the South Korean and United States military, but they will face a very very angry world. North Korea faces an utter destruction.

    This is why nobody takes the North Korean threats seriously. Because nobody believes they are suicidal.

  • madar

    I have to say, this is a very creative asymmetric attempt at economic terrorism against South Korea. It’s much better than the lame bank hacks. My worry is that the North is running out of attention getting activities and are dropping off the front pages world wide. Unless they continue to get really creative, their only possible next move will be violence; and I doubt the South’s new Iron Lady will bend over and take it as her predecessors did. Then all bets are off.

  • Tapp

    @ JPWard: There is no quick and easy answer. Like the United States, South Korea has a diverse set of opinions as to what they want. The general consensus is that everyone wants unification, but that isn’t necessarily true. North Korea is very poor. If there is a unification with South Korea on top, the North would essentially be a complete welfare state, draining the resources and money from South Korea. Like the political argument in the US, some feel that Korea should do this and help those in need, but some feel that it’d just be a distribution of wealth and a dilution of Korean exporting power. If they are giving away to the North, they can’t legitimately sell to other countries. (I read somewhere that SK is #4 in the world, I believe, in exports.) I cannot really say anything about NK’s feelings on the subject as their news is severely filtered and the opinions of John Q Public rarely make it out of the country.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    While the North would be a drain on the South, there should be enough natural resources up there to help pay for the unification.

    And merely the lack of a crazy neighbor would do wonders for spurring the economy here into overdrive. Just taking out the risk factor would increase paper wealth considerably.

    NK want to unify the peninsula under themselves but just how they would control 50 million informed South Koreans is beyond me. Their grip on power up n0rth depends on their people being brain washed, uninformed drones. The fear they have of leaflets indicates that any information about the world is a mortal danger to their regime.

  • RolyPoly

    The US state department is too relaxed. Maybe they know something that I don’t? A guarantee from China maybe?

    When even one American (this could be KoreanAmerican) dies, the department will regret.

    I hope not but the Chinese can lie. They want to embarrass America.

  • sumo294

    Natural resources?
    Sure, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China are just swimming in natural resources.
    The norks like all commies are not productive.
    They have no means of efficient production.
    They have no real estate for sale.
    Who do buy land from?
    Who exactly will organize the land plots for sale?
    Who will surveythe land or do we google earth it?

  • SeoulFinn

    No one knows how and in which way the two countries are going to be reunified as one entity after so many years spent apart. We don’t even have a clue when this is going to happen. It might happen very soon or it might take decades until it becomes a reality.

    If the reunification process is going to be peaceful maybe it could be conducted one province at a time? This way the burden to the South Korean economy would be considerably lighter and all the necessary changes and projects could be a lot easier to manage when all the efforts were concentrated on one province at a time.

  • R. Elgin


    This article is a reminder that the PRC is still behind this business and is an untrustworthy player in this whole affair. A nuclear ROK is still a good idea.

  • Avaast

    Check out the map at the bottom of an otherwise uninteresting article:


    I guess that’s Google caving rather than the BBC? They’ve yet to add in Birdshit Rocks, so there’s some way to go yet.

  • Baek-du boy


    The Kim Hyun Hee story on ABC in 10mins (nothing new if you’ve read her book)

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