PH urges DPRK to stop missile launches

By , on August 29, 2017


Newly-appointed Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday said he will continue to defend Pres. Rodrigo Duterte from his critics as chief diplomat. (PNA photo)
FILE: Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (PNA photo)

MANILA — The Philippines on Tuesday urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to stop missile launches, hours after Pyongyang carried out a missile test over Japan.

“We call on the DPRK to halt these dangerous and provocative actions, which heighten tensions, increase instability and the risk of miscalculation, and could possibly endanger lives,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

Cayetano issued the statement shortly after Pyongyang launched the missile that flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The missile, which was launched at 5 a.m. Philippine time, set off warnings for people to take emergency shelter.

This is the second time the DPRK fired a missile over Japanese airspace. The first missile launch was in 1998.

The DFA chief reminded DPRK of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on developments in the Korean Peninsula issued last Aug. 5, as he urged Pyongyang to fully comply with its obligations under the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

“ASEAN and the Philippines, as this year’s chair, remain committed to peaceful resolutions of conflict,” he said. “While we are ready to do our part, provocations such as this latest missile launch should stop to help us put in place an environment that would be conducive for dialogue.”

Cayetano said he has instructed the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to continue to closely monitor the situation and to ensure that around 242,000 Filipinos living and working in Japan are safe.

“I wish to assure our kababayans in Japan that our Embassy in Tokyo and our Consulate General in Osaka are prepared to assist them should it be necessary,” he added.