Aquino says no ‘imminent threat yet’ to start evacuation of Filipinos in Korea

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President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

STA. CRUZ, Laguna, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said there was no “imminent threat ” yet  to start the evacuation of about 40,000 Filipinos in the tense Korean Peninsula.

But Aquino, speaking in a campaign sortie of Team PNoy candidates at the town plaza here, said he has ordered authorities “to assess whether or not the threat is real and how bad is it.”

In fact, he said Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will go to South Korea to oversee the preparations being made to evacuate the Filipinos in case war erupts.

“But as of now, we have not received any information saying there is imminent threat that will necessitate evacuation,” Aquino said in Filipino.

The President assured however that contingency  plans are in place  in case war erupts  on  the  Korean peninsula, pointing  out the preparations  that have been made by his government when fears of possible war first broke out two years ago.

Unlike before where the Philippines had only  one C-130  aircraft  to evacuate its citizens, Aquino said  the country now has three aircrafts that would hasten the evacuation.

“So right now, we have better capabilities. We have three C130s,”  he said.

Aquino said the Philippines has been talking to other nations to assist Manila in case evacuation becomes necessary.

“I’m reasonably confident that the Filipino community organizations working hand-in-hand with the embassy will be able to organize our countrymen in the event that there is a need to evacuate them. And we are talking with other countries also to assist  us in this effort,”  he said.

But the  President reiterated that repatriating Filipinos at this stage remained unnecessary.

“Let us not cause undue alarm,” Aquino said.

Tensions have soared on the Korean peninsula since December, when the North test-launched a long-range rocket. In February, it conducted its third nuclear test and drew fresh UN sanctions.

But incensed at fresh UN sanctions and South Korea-US military drills, it has issued a series of apocalyptic threats of nuclear war in recent weeks.

Early Thursday the army said it had received final approval for military action against the United States, possibly involving nuclear weapons.

On Thursday, North Korea moved a medium-range missile to its east coast as the United States strengthened its Pacific missile defenses amid intensifying threats from Pyongyang.

Apart from its threats of nuclear attack, the North also warned this week it would reopen its mothballed Yongbyon reactor — its source of weapons-grade plutonium that was closed in 2007 under an aid-for-disarmament accord.

Most experts think the North is not yet capable of mounting a nuclear device on a ballistic missile capable of striking US bases or territory.

But the reopening of Yongbyon gives it a way of replenishing its bomb-making material. With Agence France-Presse

 

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  • Patriotic Citizen

    No eminent threat yet pa daw. Pag may mga namatay na at war na e saka na kikilos. Noynoying talaga! Dapat ang sabihin bilang pangulo e.. NANDOON NA MGA EROPLANO PARA KUNG SAKALI MAGKAROON O BIGLA MAGSIMULA ANG WAR, E EMMIDIATELY MAIRE REPATRIATE MGA KABABAYAN NATIN. BOBO TALAGA HAISSS! LUNETA, CHINA, SABAH, MINDANAO POWER CRISI, NOW KOREA. HIRAP TALAGA PAG WALANG ASAWA, HINDI ALAM ANG BASIC RESPONSIBILITIES…

  • Albert Einstien

    Ha ha mas gusto samahan at ikampanya ni pnoy si BAM na kamag -anak nya kesa tingnan ang kapakanan..ng mga flipinong maiipit sa guerra…tsk tsk……

  • Stuubs

    He’ll just wait it out til all hell breaks loose!…

  • Lorebea Tamparong

    Hindi yan papansinin ni PNOY!!! Yun ngang malawakang brown-out sa Mindanao na masyado nang nakakaperwesyo hindi pinansin yan pang Korean Crisis na malayo sa Pilipinas…At isa pa busy cya sa pag indorso ng mga makakasama niya balang araw sa Tuwid Daw Na Daan…

  • disqusted0fu

    Threat or no threat, it wouldn’t make any difference. The President will still be noynoying regardless. He’s just going to hide in the comforts of the Palace then come out a couple of weeks after with a made up conspiracy theory again blaming it on the previous administration.

  • $18209031

    Malapit sa puso ang Korea kay Pres NOy kasi maaalala nya si girfriend Ms Lee. Kaya gamitin nya ang AFP para ma angkin naman ang puso ni Lee.

  • speaksoftlylove

    What “no imminent threat yet” is Noynoying talking about?

    It’s already “clear and present danger” for St. Cory’s sake. The US would not have beef up their military arsenal in South Korea, Japan, and the Asia-Pacific region if North Korea is only bluffing. It takes billions of dollars to do such a move and a waste of a lot of dollars at the time when the US economy is reeling. if the “clear and present danger” is not existing. Kim Jung Un is desperate and crazy and unless there will be an abrupt regime change in North Korea, which is improbable at this moment, the “clear and present danger” subsists StupidBrat.

    Korea has just issued a warning to all international embassies, including Britain and Russia, that they cannot guarantee their protection or safety from April 10 onwards. If Koreans cannot protect the embassies, how much more for the foreigners? Simpleng simple hindi maintindihan ng payaso sa palasyo.

  • BIGButo

    Do not be worry Filipinos the Americans are there and the will protect us

  • klepto

    Just like any other useless Trapo, etong taga-iyot ng nanay, ay hindi gumagawa ng paraan kung paano maka iwas sa problema bago pa lang dumating. Sa pagdating na ng problema saka pa lang kikilos ang ang walang kwenta na tsupaero na eto.

  • $18209031

    No worries in SEoul, mga Pinos doon ay masasarap ang buhay at trabaho. ANg sarap ng kimchi nila . Anong brand na masarap bibilhin ?

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