Monday, 14 August 2017

North Korea recalls key ambassadors back to the country as tensions with the US continue to escalate

North Korea has recalled several of its key ambassadors back to the country for a joint meeting in the capital.

The ongoing meeting reportedly includes Ambassador Ji Jae-ryong, Ambassador Ja Song-nam and Ambassador Kim Hyong-jun, North Korea's top envoys to China, the United Nations and Russia, respectively. 

'North Korea seems to be hosting what appears to be a meeting of foreign diplomatic missions' chiefs after calling its ambassadors to major countries back to Pyongyang,' a government official told Yonhap News Agency. 

It is not known how many ambassadors are involved in the meeting. 

The Ministry of Unification's spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said in a press briefing that the meeting may be part of North Korea's regular gathering of ambassadors.

'North Korea held the 43rd ambassadors' meeting in July 2015 and (the latest meeting) seems to be in line with that,' said the spokesman.

However, there are rumors the meeting may be linked with the country's purported preparations for further military provocations, such as nuclear test or more missile launches. 

This week, US President Donald Trump vowed that North Korea would be met with 'fire and fury' if leader Kim Jung-Un followed through on a threat to execute a missile strike on nearby Guam, a US territory with an American military base. 

Despite calls for Trump to tone down the rhetoric and end the back-and-forth with Kim, the president continued to make his point, saying Friday that the US military is 'locked and loaded'. 

However, CIA director Mike Pompeo assured there was 'nothing imminent' in the US standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea.

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