Philippines seeks US help on North Korea rocket

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Map showing the expected splashdown points of two stages of North Korea's planned rocket launch in April, according to details submitted to the International Maritime Organization. Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Thursday the Philippines will seek the assistance of the United States to track a North Korean long-range rocket, part of which is expected to land off the Philippines.

“We need the help of the US to monitor the path (of the rocket). We don’t have the capability to do that,” Gazmin told reporters in a chance interview after the 115th Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Army in Fort Bonifacio.

“But with our alliances, we will be provided with the necessary information. We should know the details so that we will know how to inform and warn our people who will be in the (rocket’s) path,” he said.

He said that the government is very much concerned with the rocket launch since it involves the safety of the country.

North Korea announced last week it would launch the rocket to place a satellite in orbit between April 12 and 16, insisting it was for peaceful space research.

But the United States and other nations see the launch as a disguised ballistic missile test, and say that it would breach a UN ban on North Korean missile launches.

A previous North Korean long-range rocket in 2009 flew over Japanese territory and the boosters landed safely in waters off Japan.

Gazmin admitted that the government has yet to know the specific areas that might be affected by the launch so the public could be warned.

He said North Korean should heed the plea of countries like the United States and Japan.

“Makinig sila para walang mabuong tension (North Korea should listen to avoid tension),” Gazmin said.

In a letter to the UN’s International Maritime Organization, North Korea said the second stage of its latest rocket was expected to splash down 190 kilometers (118 miles) east of the northern Philippines.

The first stage of the rocket would fall about 140 kilometers off South Korea’s west coast, in international waters between China and the South, the letter said.

On Wednesday, the Philippine government joined its US and South Korean allies in criticizing North Korea’s planned launch, calling it “unacceptable”.

“The Philippine military is ready to coordinate with its US counterpart in the monitoring of the planned launch,” the Foreign Department said in a separate statement.

Japan has warned that it may try to shoot down a North Korean rocket if it heads towards Japanese territory or waters.

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  • Marlou Wang

    Let me ask this: What if the Philippines will launch the same thing 118 miles off North Korean waters??? How would they feel?

    • kilroy

      wala. kc wala tayo nyan e. hehe..

  • Marlou Wang

    Let me ask this: What if the Philippines will launch the same thing 118 miles off North Korean waters??? How would they feel?

  • Pedro

    rocket??? wala yaaan!!!!!! kayang-kayang sanggain iyan ng ating mga MAGNANAKAW na POLITICIAN at OPISYALES NG MILITAR!!!!!  at meron din naman tayong “secret stealth weapon”(mangkukulam, manananggal, aswang, tiyanak,etc)….HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  • goldilock

    Good for Philippine air force to practice rocket interception and shoot the second stage up in the sky – (could contain bird flu, fish flu biological strains). Future scenario: next falling rocket stages is not empty but contain biological weapon.

  • Fz20

    whats wrong w/ our military leaders? one or two trucks-mobile defense system, would do for a start…at least we have something and pls mature and get over being blindly baby-dependent on uncle…the whole world knows for decades, like it or not, they would act only on/for their self interests.

  • joboni96

    ano naman magagawa ng u.s.?

    sunod sunuran talaga sau.s. propaganda
    what’s the fuss?an empty aluminum containerfalling hundreds of kilometersout in the sea
    di nga tayo nag complainnoong paputok ng paputokang u.s. ng mga atomic bombssa pacific

  • arnella

    this worries me, we have a news here in Australia that North Korea’s missile is ROUGHLY TRAJECTED IN THE AREAS BETWEEN AUSTRALIA, INDONESIA AND PHILIPPINES..that’s why Japan is very alert in its own area as it is likely to retaliate if ever the missile will land near Japanese waters… and tha’ts why also Phils. already seeks the help of US just in many countries are aware of this current situation just IN CASE..hopefully North Korea will abandon its plan to test fire its missile or change its trajectory course away from any countries that might be affected…mostly Phils….

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