During the Mindanao Hour press briefing this August 11, Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson, said that while North Korea’s missile threat to Guam is a matter of concern, it is unlikely to hit the country.
The AFP spokesperson said that the closest problem for the country is the testing stage in which the launch is directed to a part of the Pacific ocean. He said that potential shattered debris may scatter around the area or the trajectory if the missile disintegrates in the atmosphere.
According to Padilla, the Philippines has no anti-missile systems to serve as a sure guard for these kinds of threats, but the best defense move is to monitor.
“What we do, however, is monitor it and as you have mentioned, any kind of telltale effect from that kind of incident is something we have to prepare for,” he said.
Though not entirely assuring of it not happening, he referred to the possibility of falling debris to the Pacific ocean ‘remote,’ which may affect coastal areas, but he clarifies that they have specific measures and will forewarn citizens in these affected areas.
“Ang civil defense side naman natin, may preparasyon naman po sila sa mga ganitong pagkakataon (Our civil defense side is prepared when it comes to these situations),” he stated.
However, he emphasized the unlikelihood of this happening in any way given that it is directed towards an outer island in the Pacific itself.
Padilla supported that having Ri Yong-Ho, the Foreign Minister of North Korea attend the recently held Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit was a positive sign.
“So I think there is still a lot of room for dialogue, a lot of room for talks… So, we may just be in the middle of a verbal tussle between some countries,” he said.