MANILA — The Department of National Defense (DND) said it is closely monitoring the situation after North Korea has threatened to launch four intermediate-range missiles off Guam’s waters by mid-August.
“While we believe that the threat of a missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is not directed at the Philippine archipelago, the Department of National Defense is closely monitoring the situation in the region,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement Saturday.
Lorenzana said the DND is treating the event as a civil defense rather than a military issue.
“Our Office of Civil Defense is on standby and prepared to address any untoward incident that may occur in the aftermath of such a missile launch. As we have done in the past, we have directed the OCD to coordinate with the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) in determining the areas that will potentially, although remotely, be affected,” he said.
The OCD, he said, may also issue “no-sail zone” advisories to coastal areas and alert advisories to local government agencies to step up the preparedness of local communities in case the debris of a missile launch reaches the Philippines.
Lorenzana also called on all countries involved to exercise sobriety and refrain from actions that may escalate tensions, not only in the Korean Peninsula, but the rest of the Asia-Pacific region as well.
“Sa ating mga kababayan, huwag po tayong mangamba. Ang palagi naming sinasabi ay maging alerto lang po tayo at ipagbigay alam sa mga kinauukulan kung may mapansin man kayong hindi karaniwan sa inyong lugar. Hintayin lang po natin ang mga anunsyo at updates mula sa mga naatasang ahensya ng pamalahaan,” he added.
(“To our compatriots, do not worry. As we always say, let us all be alert and inform the authorities if you notice anything unusual in your area. Just wait for announcements and updates from the concerned government agencies,” he added.)