US Embassy: No reason to be overly worried about being in S. Korea
SEOUL — The U.S. Embassy said Friday there is no reason for American citizens in South Korea to be overly concerned about the heightened tensions with North Korea.
In fact, the embassy went as far as saying Americans preparing to visit South Korea need not change their plans or take any extraordinary safety measures.
“The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that despite current political tensions with North Korea, there is no specific information to suggest there are imminent threats to U.S. citizens or facilities in the Republic of Korea,” the statement said.
“The embassy has not changed its security posture and we have not recommended that U.S. citizens who reside in, or plan to visit, the Republic of Korea take special security precautions at this time,” it continued. “Should the security situation change, the embassy will issue updated information.”
In recent weeks, North Korea has declared void the armistice that effectively ended the Korean War, said it considers itself in a “state of war,” vowed to turn Seoul and Washington, D.C., into a “sea of fire,” and announced that its military had the go-ahead to use nuclear weapons on American interests.
The North is upset about United Nations sanctions slapped on the rogue nation as punishment for its recent nuclear test and rocket launch, and joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises under way on the Korean peninsula.
While calling on North Korea to back off its bellicose bluster, the U.S. has been uncharacteristically brazen in publicly acknowledging the use of an impressive array of military hardware during the ongoing Foal Eagle exercises, including B-2 Stealth bombers and a nuclear attack submarine.
More than 100,000 Americans live in South Korea, in addition to the 28,500 U.S. servicemembers stationed here.
In its “Security Message for U.S. Citizens” issued Friday, the embassy urged Americans traveling or living abroad to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive the latest travel updates, adding that various social media outlets also carry up-to-date advisories.