The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned about tensions simmering on the Korean Peninsula saying the crisis may ‘spiral out of control’.
“The current level of tension is very dangerous, a small incident caused by miscalculation or misjudgment may create an uncontrollable situation,” Ban said during a visit to Rome on Tuesday.
“I have urged the countries concerned in and around the Korean Peninsula to exercise their influence on the North Korean leadership…. I have spoken to the Chinese leadership…. The level of tension on the Korean Peninsula is not helpful to anybody,” he added.
Meanwhile, North Korea urged all foreign institutions, enterprises, and tourists in South Korea to leave the country.
In a Tuesday statement, North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee advised all foreigners in South Korea “to take measures for shelter and evacuation in advance for their safety” because in case of war “we don't want foreigners living in South Korea to get hurt.”
“The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to a thermonuclear war,” the statement added.
In the latest move signaling the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, thousands of North Korean workers failed on Tuesday to go to work at a joint industrial complex with the South, following earlier plans by Pyongyang to suspend operations at the facility.
On April 5, the North also urged foreign embassies, including that of Russia, to consider the possibility of evacuation from Pyongyang.
On March 30, North Korea declared that it is in a "state of war" with South Korea, warning that any provocation by Seoul and Washington will trigger an all-out nuclear war.
The prospects of an outbreak of war have sharply risen following the participation of the US' nuclear-capable B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in joint military drills with South Korea.