By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
TOKYO, Japan – The Philippines and Japan have condemned the threat of North Korea’s nuclear warfare capabilities as the allied countries vowed to address security issues confronting the region.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (left) and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold a joint press conference after meeting at the Kantei, or the Prime Minister’s office here, Monday evening. (AP)
The consensus was arrived at when President Rodrigo Roa Duterte met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Kantei, or the Prime Minister’s office here, Monday evening.
In a joint press statement, Duterte expressed his concern over developments in the Korean Peninsula, and called for the resumption of talks to resolve the issue.
“We need to address many issues confronting the region and threats to the stability and security [in the] Asia-Pacific,” he said. “Foremost among our shared concern are developments in the Korean peninsula and the continuing missile launch tests of North Korea.”
“We need to address many issues confronting the region and threats to the stability and security of the East Pacific. Foremost among our shared concern are developments in the Korean peninsula and the continuing missile launch tests of North Korea,” Duterte said.
“We condemn these tests and call on all concerned stakeholders to return to the negotiating table to peacefully resolve the situation,” he added.
In his departure speech in Davao City late Sunday evening, Duterte said that the international community have noted that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was a dangerous man and that somebody should talk to him to stop testing their nuclear missiles.
“A nuclear war is totally unacceptable to everybody. And somebody has to talk to Kim Jong-un. I have joined the echo for him to just lower a bit of his aggressiveness,” he had said.
“It would be good if America, Japan, Korea, and Mr. Kim Jong-un talk, to convince (Kim) to sit down on a round table and just tell him that nobody’s threatening him, that there will be no war, and that if he can just tone down or stand down, stop the threats, and that would be the same for America,” he added.
Duterte also said it would be better if Kim will be convinced that there will be no ouster move will be initiated against him.
“And for America, Japan, Korea and all, including the Philippines, that they will guarantee that no threat in the offing, or there is no plan at all really to remove him, and that he would just stay where you are right now, we can start with the talks and perhaps talk to him,” Duterte said.
Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of Japan to Manila Takehiro Kano had earlier said that the situation involving North Korea will be one of the issues that will be talked about during the meeting of the two Asian leaders.
“The two leaders [Duterte and Abe] would get together in Tokyo to discuss various issues related to the peace and stability of the region and international community including the nuclear issues of North Korea,” Kano had said.
Kano, meanwhile, lauded the Philippines’ chairmanship of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), especially in the regional bloc’s statement deploring North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s show of nuclear capability has received condemnation from the international community.
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