North Korea has warned foreigners in South Korea to leave the country amid threats of impending war, in the latest bellicose threat from Pyongyang.
A statement attributed to Pyongyang's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee read: "The situation on the Korean peninsula is heading for a thermo-nuclear war.
"In the event of war, we don't want foreigners living in South Korea to get hurt."
A North Korean man walks past propaganda posters in Pyongyang, North Korea, that threaten punishment to the "US imperialists and their allies"
The Committee urged "all foreign organisations, companies and tourists to work out measures for evacuation".
Pyongyang has already warned it cannot not be able to guarantee the safety of embassy staff in North Korea.
No foreign embassies have announced a decision to evacuate, indicating perhaps the level of seriousness that foreign representatives attribute to the threats made by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Japan has deployed defensive anti-missile batteries at three locations in Tokyos; the defence ministry and at two other military bases.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: "The government is making utmost efforts to protect our people's lives and ensure their safety.
"As North Korea keeps making provocative comments, Japan, co-operating with relevant countries, will do what we have to do."
The UK Foreign Office said: "We have no immediate plans to withdraw our Embassy in Pyongyang.
"In recent weeks, the North Korean Government has raised tensions on the Korean peninsula and the wider region through a series of strong public rhetoric.
"The FCO assess that there is currently no immediate increased risk or danger to those living in or travelling to South Korea as a result of these statements."
As well as ramping up the rhetoric, Pyongyang appeared to order North Korean 53,000 employees not to report for work on Tuesday at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where both North and South Koreans work – a day after North accused the South of turning the jointly run zone into "a hotbed of war".
South Korea's president, Park Geun-hye, said in response: "Investment is all about being able to anticipate results and trust and when you have the North breaking international regulations and promises like this and suspending Kaesong while the world is watching, no country in the world will invest in the North.
"North Korea should stop behaving in this way and make the right choice for the future of the Korean nation."