White House blasts North Korea over evacuation warning

The White House on Tuesday said North Korea's warnings that foreigners should evacuate from the South because of a looming nuclear war were "unhelpful" and would only "further isolate" the country.

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"North Korea's statement advising foreigners to make plans to evacuate Seoul is more unhelpful rhetoric that serves only to escalate tensions," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "This kind of rhetoric will only further isolate North Korea from the international community, and we continue to urge the North Korean leadership to heed President Obama's call to choose the path of peace and to come into compliance with its international obligations."

Despite the bluster from Pyongyang, foreign policy experts do not believe that a war on the Korean peninsula is likely. Still, it is the latest in what have become daily provocations from the North.

Earlier in the week, China — a traditional ally of the North Koreans — warned the country about its bellicose rhetoric. President Xi Jinping told a forum that no country "should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain," according to Reuters.

Carney said Tuesday that the United States "welcomes the comments by the new Chinese president."

"We've been very open about the fact that we're having these conversations and our call on the Chinese to use their unique influence with North Korea on this matter," he said.

"It is in the interests of regional stability, in the interests of every nation in the region, as well as the world, that, you know, the situation there stabilize and that North Korea begin to take seriously its international obligations."

Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) suggested the Obama administration should pressure Beijing to further intervene with North Korea.

"We need to find what we can do with China, because China could end this tomorrow," Ayotte told Fox News.

The White House on Tuesday also denounced North Korea's suggestion that diplomats in Pyongyang should evacuate ahead of a possible conflict.

"This is in keeping with a pattern of behavior that is familiar to those who have worked on the North Korean issue over the past many years. Veterans from the George W. Bush administration and the Clinton administration can certainly, you know, fill you in on the history of this kind of behavior that we're seeing from the North Koreans," Carney said.

"What we have said is that it is unhelpful, it is concerning, it is provocative."