South Korea Seeks to Calm Citizens as Anxiety Over War Increases

  • U.S. has sent warships to region as Trump warns North Korea
  • South Korea on alert for nuclear or missile tests by neighbor

The U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson arrives at the port of Busan.

Photographer: Kyodo News/Kyodo News via Getty Images

South Korea’s government sought to quell any anxiety about potential military action as tensions rise following the U.S.’s deployment of warships near North Korea.

There’s no need to worry about security on the Korean Peninsula, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng said at a briefing on Wednesday. The government is closely cooperating with other nations, including the U.S., to manage escalating tensions with North Korea, Lee said.

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Speculation for hostility has risen after the U.S. diverted an aircraft carrier strike force to waters in the region. President Donald Trump tweeted overnight that North Korea is “looking for trouble” and the U.S. is prepared to resolve the matter without China, the major benefactor of Kim Jong Un’s regime.

South Korea is on alert for signs that Kim is preparing to test a nuclear weapon or launch another missile to mark symbolic dates in the country’s history. North Korea is hosting foreign journalists in Pyongyang before the nation commemorates 105 years since the birth of its founder Kim Il Sung on April 15. Lee said the move is a departure from past practices, when it had blocked the entry of outsiders before key anniversaries.

Japan’s foreign ministry issued a travel alert this week to citizens residing in or traveling to South Korea, urging them to continue paying attention to developments on the peninsula. The alert doesn’t call for limiting travel to the country, chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo on Wednesday.

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— With assistance by Isabel Reynolds

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