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PH asks US, North Korea to exercise self-restraint

The government has once again called for self-restraint after North Korea threatened anew to launch a missile attack on the United States.

Concerned parties must scale down rhetoric and avoid actions that would escalate the tension in the Korean peninsula, according to presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.

“The Philippines reiterates its call for continued exercise of self-restraint in order to de-escalate the tension and to refrain from actions that may aggravate the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” Abella said.

Abella assured that Philippine posts in Seoul, South Korea and Agana, Guam are closely monitoring the situation. They have also been working closely with the Filipino communities in South Korea and Guam, respectively, to ensure preparedness for any eventuality, he said.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the Philippines is doing its role to diffuse the tension as chairman of this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

“Kung ano man ang magiging role ng Pilipinas, lalung-lalo na ngayon na chairman po tayo ng ASEAN, we’re already actually doing what we’re supposed to do,” Andanar said.

“Ginagampanan po natin ang mga dapat nating gampanan bilang chairman ng ASEAN at nakita niyo naman kung ano yung nangyari noong Foreign Ministers Forum last week. Nakita niyo naman kung paano kinausap nina Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano at iba pong foreign ministers ang North Korea,” he added.

Andanar said that it shares the same concern of the United States on North Korea and assured that the Philippines will stand by its long-time ally, including Japan and South Korea. (Genalyn D. Kabiling and Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)