North Korea Is Bluffing, World Remains Calm

A day after North Korea warned foreigners to evacuate South Korea before the outbreak of a “merciless, sacred, retaliatory war,” the world has instead decided to call the country’s bluff.

The European Union told North Korea Wednesday that it sees insufficient reason to evacuate Europe’s various diplomats from the Korean peninsula. The union of 27 European nations does not feel that the situation on the ground justifies such a response.

“Despite current tensions, which (North Korea) deliberately attempts to increase through aggressive rhetoric, we judge that the situation on the ground does not justify evacuation or re-location of EU member states’ diplomatic missions,” an EU spokeswoman said.

On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed Russia’s support for the US’s approach to North Korea.

“There is no disagreement with the United States over North Korea,” Lavrov said at a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. The two are in London to hold talks with other members of the G8.

Lavrov did reveal some hesitancy. He feels that the world need not frighten North Korea with military manoeuvres, apparently referring to military exercises being conducted by the US, South Korea, and North Korea on both sides of the DMZ. Enough fear could turn North Korea’s bluffs into action.

“There is a chance everything will calm down,” Lavrov said.

While North Korea shares most of its border with China, it neighbors Russia at the shore. Russia does not stand to benefit from violence and instability breaking out just next door.

North Korea is expected to launch a medium-range missile at any time as a display of strength. South Korea has asked China and Russia to intercede with the North to ease tensions in the area.

Despite the threat, life in South Korea’s capital proceeds as normal. Seoul, one of the largest cities in the world, is close to the border with North Korea and little more than 100 miles from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. Inhabitants of Seoul have grown accustomed to North Korea’s bluffs.

[Image of Seoul via Wikimedia Commons]