By Roy C. Mabasa
The Philippines expressed its grave concern over the firing by North Korea Tuesday morning of a ballistic missile that flew over Japanese airspace.
This is the second time the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired a missile over Japanese airspace. The first missile launch was in 1998.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano called on North Korea to halt “these dangerous and provocative actions, which heighten tensions, increase instability and the risk of miscalculation, and could possibly endanger lives.”
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.
“We recall the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Developments in the Korean Peninsula issued on August 5th and urge the DPRK to fully comply with its obligations under the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” Cayetano said after he was briefed on the incident.
“ASEAN and the Philippines, as this year’s chair, remain committed to peaceful resolutions of conflict,” Cayetano 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.”
The secretary said he has instructed the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to continue to closely monitor the situation and to ensure that approximately 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,” Cayetano added.
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