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Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:29AM
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania Abbas Araghchi

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania Abbas Araghchi

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania Abbas Araqchi has rejected claims about North Korea demanding foreign diplomats to leave the country. Araqchi said Wednesday that there have been different reports about Pyongyang asking foreign diplomats to leave the country before April 10. As far as we know, the North Korean Foreign Ministry asked embassies and offices of international organizations in a meeting to inform the Foreign Ministry of what they need to provide security for their offices and staff by April 10, he added. Earlier this week, a number of Western media reports claimed North Korea had informed foreign embassies that it would no longer be able to ensure their safety after April 10 and they should consider leaving the country. When asked whether Iranian diplomats had left North Korea, Araqchi said considering the sensitivity of the matter Tehran is evaluating the situation in order to make necessary decisions. The prospects of a war on the Korean Peninsula have sharply risen following the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in recent joint military drills with South Korea. 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. MYA/HGH/SL
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