Phl urges N. Korea to stop 'provo­ca­tions,' start talks

The Freeman - - NATION -

MANILA — The Philip­pines yes­ter­day re­peated its call on North Korea to stop its "provo­ca­tions" and in­stead en­gage in talks to ease tensions af­ter the rogue state con­ducted an­other mis­sile launch in the face of tougher in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions.

South Korean and Ja­panese of­fi­cials on Fri­day said Py­ongyang fired an in­ter­me­di­ate range bal­lis­tic mis­sile that over­flew Ja­pan be­fore land­ing in the Pa­cific Ocean east of Ja­pan.

In a state­ment, For­eign Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Alan Peter Cayetano urged North Korea to "cease its provoca­tive and highly dan­ger­ous ac­tions that threaten the peace, sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity of the re­gion."

"DPRK (Demo­cratic Peo­ple's Repub­lic of Korea) must put a stop to these tests and to start talks in­stead," Cayetano said. "We like­wise con­tinue to urge the DPRK to abide by the rel­e­vant UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions, as the Philip­pines re­mains com­mit­ted to com­ply­ing with the same."

Ac­cord­ing to the DFA, Cayetano – who will at­tend the 72nd Ses­sion of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York – will con­sult with other South­east Asian for­eign min­is­ters on how to re­duce tensions in the Korean Penin­sula.

"Of course, we are also con­cerned about the safety of the 242,000 Filipinos in Ja­pan who may be im­pacted by these provoca­tive acts," Cayetano said. "Our Em­bassy in Tokyo and Con­sulate Gen­eral in Osaka are closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and are reg­u­larly pro­vid­ing up­dates to the Filipino com­mu­nity," he added.

De­fense Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana re­cently de­scribed North Korea's lat­est mis­sile launch as "very con­cern­ing".

Last Au­gust, For­eign min­is­ters of the mem­ber-states of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions re­leased a state­ment ex­press­ing con­cern over the es­ca­la­tion of tensions in the Korean Penin­sula. The state­ment came af­ter Py­ongyang's test­ing of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles on July 2 and 28 and pre­vi­ous bal­lis­tic mis­sile launches and two nu­clear tests last year.

North Korea is a par­tic­i­pant of the ASEAN Re­gional Fo­rum. The Philip­pines chairs this year's ASEAN meet­ings. —

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