DPRK’s bomb detonation limits options over Korean Peninsula issue ? DFA chief
The Philippine government on Sunday expressed "grave concern" over Democratic People's Republic of Korea's detonation of a hydrogen bomb, saying this limits available options for a meaningful dialogue over the Korean Peninsula issue.
“We are gravely concern over this hydrogen bomb testing by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in a statement. "Such provocative actions undermine regional peace and stability."
Cayetano, who is currently in South Korea, said the hydrogen bomb test at Punggye-ri nuclear test site does not only flout all commitment under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. "This test limits our available options for meaningful dialogue to address the real issues confronting the Korean Peninsula.
"The Philippines urges the DPRK to return to the negotiating table. ASEAN is ready to play a role in creating diplomatic space to effect meaningful dialogue," he added. The Philippines is this year's chair of Association of Southeast Asian Nation.
Cayetano met with DFA Assistant Secretary for Asia-Pacific Affairs Millicent Cruz-Paredes and Ambassador to Seoul Raul Hernandez to discuss the situation in the Korean Peninsula.
He also instructed officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Seoul to ensure that the approximately 65,000 Filipinos living and working in South Korea are made aware of the contingency plans that have been prepared in case the situation further escalates.
Cayetano assured some 300 members of the Filipino Community there that that measures are in place to make sure that the Philippine government could come to their assistance in case it would become necessary for them to evacuate.
He also advised Filipinos in Korea to constantly monitor the social media accounts of the Embassy for emergency alerts and advisories.
Pyongyang conducted its detonation last Sunday afternoon few days after North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, prompting Tokyo to issue a missile launch warning to its citizens.
It also came a few days after Pyongyang announced more missile test launches that resulted in Manila joining the international community in calling on North Korea to avoid taking provocative acts that could destabilize not just the Korean Peninsula but also the rest of the Asia-Pacific Region. Ella Dionisio/DMS