Plans to evacuate Pinoys in Seoul, Guam readied
Malacañang on Sunday called on countries involved in the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula to exercise self-restraint to avoid a deterioration of the situation into conflict.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Filipino diplomats in Seoul and Guam were coordinating evacuation plans with local Filipino communities — in case the exchanges of threats between the United States and North Korea erupt into hostilities.
“The Philippines reiterates its call for continued exercise of self-restraint in order to deescalate the tension and to refrain from actions that may aggravate the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” Abella said in a statement.
Tensions in the region worsened on July 28 after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could reach the US mainland.
In response, the United Nations Security Council on Aug. 5 imposed a fresh round of sanctions on North Korea that could cost Pyongyang $1 billion every year.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” US President Donald Trump said on Aug 8.
Two days later, the head of North Korea’s strategic missile forces outlined a plan to launch ballistic missiles into the waters around Guam, which hosts a US military base that would be crucial if war erupts on the Korean Peninsula.
Abella said Filipino diplomats in Seoul and Agana were preparing “for any eventuality.”
“The Philippine Embassy in Seoul and the Consulate General in Agana have been monitoring the situation closely and have been working closely with the Filipino communities in the Republic of Korea and Guam, respectively, to ensure preparedness for any eventuality,” he said.
According to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, there were 69,000 Filipinos working in South Korea and 17,500 working in Guam as of 2013.
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