North Korea and the United States have engaged in a war of words and are tossing around threats and counter threats. There is a cloud of uncertainty hovering over the Korean peninsula and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan is worried about the safety of his people who stay in South Korea. He is believed to be planning their mass evacuation depending on the situation.

There are around 60,000 Japanese citizens who reside in South Korea and a majority of them are long-term residents. The possibility of a confrontation is increasing and the Japanese in South Korea need protection.

Japan is jittery

Fox News reports that the latest activity of North Korea was the testing of its hydrogen bomb which is believed to have triggered a 6.3 magnitude artificial earthquake in the region. That has got Japan worried. A source in the Japanese government feels that, in case the United States decides to go ahead with its plans of a military response against the North, it could endanger the lives of the Japanese in South Korea. Hence, the government is planning to evacuate its citizens.

Japan has spelt out its strategy. It would put a limit on unessential travel to South Korea. It would also discourage all travel to the South and advise its citizens to evacuate and take shelter in safe places.

The recent exercises carried out by South Korea has added to Japan’s tensions because the exercise was to simulate an attack on a nuclear site. It was done after North tested its hydrogen bomb.

The situation is grave

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting after North's latest provocations and the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

Nikki Haley said that America does not want a war but will examine other methods to prevent direct conflict. President Donald Trump has indicated that the United States could consider cutting off trade with countries that have business dealings with North Korea.

Time is running out and the leaders must drop all reservations and rise as one to defuse the crisis that is looming ahead.

Reports in the media reveal that North Korea is probably shifting a missile to its launching site. The activity is apparently being done under the cover of darkness and if true, it could be the beginning of a major conflict. Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea, had expressed a desire to mend relations with the North. He would do his country and the world a great favor if he can take the initiative to talk to Kim Jong Un and ensure that he does not press the button. A peaceful solution is a must to avoid reaching the point of no return.