PH urges US, N. Korea to desist from actions that may escalate tensions

The Philippine government on Monday, August 14 called on the United States and North Korea to “desist from threats and military action” that may escalate nuclear tensions between countries.

In a media conference, Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella also urged Washington and Pyongyang to conduct talks and put an end to any further missile tests and attack threats.

“We continue to enjoin all concerned parties to desist from threats and military action and we enjoin all sides to start talks, which should be greatly facilitated by an end to missile test and attack threats,” the Philippine spokesperson said.

Last week, North Korea threatened to launch nuclear missiles attacks near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which shelters massive U.S. Air Force and Navy bases.

North Korea made the threat in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning that Pyongyang will be met with “fire and fury” if it continues to threaten Washington.

Abella reassured that the Philippine government has prepared contingency plans in case North Korea pushes its plan to launch missile attacks in Guam.

“We commend our Seoul embassy and our Guam consulate for their contingency plans to secure Filipinos even when military conflict erupts,” he said.

According to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are around  42,800 Filipinos in Guam.

Abella also urged all Filipinos in Guam and Korea and their families to inform DFA or its consular officials of their whereabouts.

On Tuesday, August 15, Pyongyang’s state news agency reported that North Korean leader  Kim Jong-un had “examined the (strike) plan for a long time and discussed it with the commanding officers in real earnest.”

But Kim appeared to hold off plans to fire missiles towards the Pacific island by saying he would instead “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees.”

In a statement, Guam Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio said he is “ecstatic” as North Korea appeared to pull back from its threats.

“There doesn’t appear to be any indication that, based on what we’re hearing that there will be any missiles attacking in the near future or the distant future,” Tenorio said.

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