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DFA prepares for North Korea threat

Contingency plans are being prepared in anticipation of the threat of North Korea to fire ballistic missiles towards Guam.

In a press statement on August 14, the DFA said that Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano had phone conversations with Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez and Guam Consul General Marciano de Borja to provide updates on the situation in their respective jurisdictions.

The DFA said both ambassadors assured the public that contingency plans were in place for the Filipino community in case the North Korea stays true to its threat of launching a missile on the vicinity of Guam and if trouble escalates in the Korean Peninsula.

According to the DFA, there are 65,000 Overseas Filipino Workers in South Korea and 42,835 in Guam.

North Korean’s Central News agency reported on August 9 that the country is threatening to target Guam, a United States territory, of ballistic missiles to deliver a warning to the US.

The next day, North Korea confirmed that a plan to launch four Hwasong-12 missiles off the shores of Guam is being finalized.

Reports said that North Korea said Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un would be in control of the missiles after a week of the announcement. Upon launching, the missiles will fly over Japan before hitting the waters of Guam.

In response to the threat, US President Donald Trump warned  Kim through his Twitter account an hour after North Korea announced its plans.

“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully, Kim Jong Un will find another path,” said Trump.

In July, North Korea launched two Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles to the Sea of Japan.

Despite the threat of a nuclear war, Cayetano said President Rodrigo Duterte called on both foreign leaders to “to exercise restraint and to take the necessary steps to avoid a further escalation of the situation.”