Philippines slams North Korea missile launch over Japan

 30 Aug 2017 - 11:09

Philippines slams North Korea missile launch over Japan

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ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines: The Philippines, as chair of ASEAN, expressed grave concern Tuesday after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan and urged Pyongyang to cease such actions.

"We call on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to halt these dangerous and provocative actions which heighten tensions and increase instability and the risk of miscalculation and could possibly endanger lives," Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement. 

The Philippines is chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, for 2017.

The foreign ministers of ASEAN’s 10 member states issued a statement early this month reiterating their grave concern over the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Manila has also called for dialogue on all sides to resolve the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and believes ASEAN has opted for a diplomatic approach to attain a peaceful resolution.

"ASEAN and the Philippines, as this year's chair, remain committed to a peaceful resolution of the 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."

Cayetano also has directed the Philippine embassy in Tokyo "to continue to closely monitor the situation and to ensure that the approximately 242,000 Filipinos living and working in Japan are safe."