As the world waits to see if North Korea launches a ballistic missile, the regime has attempted to raise tensions further, warning foreigners living in South Korea to make evacuation plans because the peninsula is on the brink of war.
"We do not wish harm on foreigners in South Korea should there be a war," the official KCNA news agency quoted an official from a North Korean organisation calling itself Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee as saying.
The KCNA report did not offer details and there are reportedly no signs of a military buildup near the border dividing the Korean peninsula, located less than 40 miles from the South Korean capital, Seoul.
Analysts noted that Pyongyang had issued similar threats in the past, adding that this latest warning is designed to elicit aid and political concessions from Seoul and Washington.
Amid the bluster of recent weeks - during which the North has threatened to launch a nuclear attack on the US - the regime appears to have made good on its threat to withdraw its workers from the Kaesong industrial complex. The closure of Kaesong, the last symbol of rapprochement between the two Koreas, marks a serious deterioration in ties. The move is also a sign of how far the North's leader, Kim Jong-un, may be prepared to go to foment crisis.