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