PH urges self-restraint to avoid tension over North Korea situation
The Philippines reiterated its call to restrain from actions that may aggravate tensions in the Korean Peninsula, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Sunday.
“The Philippines reiterates its call for continued exercise of self-restraint in order to de-escalate the tension and to refrain from actions that may aggravate the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” Abella said in a statement.
North Korea earlier threatened to conduct airstrikes against Guam, a United States (US) territory roughly 2,500 kilometers from Manila.
On Friday, the military said there was a “remote possibility” that debris from a North Korean missile aimed at Guam could reach the country.
“We don’t see this as potentially hitting us in any way because it is directed towards an outer island in the Pacific itself. If ever it disintegrates in the atmosphere. Potentially, it would have shattered debris that may scatter around in the area or its trajectory,” Brig. Gen Restituto Padilla told reporters.
“So it could hit some northern coastal areas. We have to forewarn our citizens to be on the lookout. But that’s something that we see as remote,” he added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) further assured the public on Sunday that both Ambassador Raul Hernandez and Consul General Marciano De Borja confirmed that contingency plans for Filipino communities are in place in case the situation in the Korean Peninsula escalates further.
“Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was on the phone with Ambassador Raul Hernandez in Seoul and Consul General Marciano de Borja in Agana to request updates on the situation in their respective areas of jurisdiction,” DFA said in a statement.
There are approximately 65,000 Filipinos in South Korea and another 42,835 in Guam, the DFA said.
Cayetano, DFA said, echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s calls for both the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to exercise restraint and to take the necessary steps to avoid a further escalation of the situation. JE
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