State: No ‘imminent threat’ to Americans in South Korea


In a statement read out on North Korean television, the so-called Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee warned of "merciless, sacred, retaliatory war" against the South.

"The committee informs all foreign institutions and enterprises and foreigners, including tourists ... that they are requested to take measures for shelter and evacuation in advance for their safety," the statement said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney lambasted the latest provocation from the North.

“North Korea's statement advising foreigners to make plans to evacuate Seoul is more unhelpful rhetoric that serves only to escalate tensions,” Carney said Tuesday. “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.”

Ventrell said the administration is taking “all appropriate measures” and is “very much capable of defending ourselves and our ally.”

“But in terms of this specific statement today, our analysis remains the same as it was last week, that we're not discouraging U.S. citizens from traveling to South Korea or encouraging them to take any special travel precautions.”